Clear & Concise Explanation Of The Problem With Patents
from the more-voices dept
More and more people are adding their voices to the growing consensus around the massive harm that the patent system is doing to innovation within the tech industry. PC World's Katherine Noyes has a great article that lays out a clear argument for why the patent system is making things worse for consumers. Here's just a snippet, though the whole thing is worth reading:
5. Innovation Is Being SquelchedIt's nice to see that more and more people are making it clear that this isn't just some "fringe" opinion, but such feelings are extremely common among folks throughout the tech industry -- supposedly the people patents are supposed to protect most. When those people hate and/or fear the patent system, clearly something's wrong. So why is Congress' only move to make the system worse?
Software innovation depends heavily on the exchange and iterative development of new ideas, but such exchange is precisely what software patents are designed to prevent. Numerous patents have been granted that are excessively broad, too, making it virtually impossible to develop original software without fear of infringing.
6. Small Companies Are Being Shut Out
For all of the above reasons, you could be the most brilliant and creative software developer ever, but if you don't have pockets deep enough to pay hefty licensing fees and start a patent war chest of your own the way Google is being forced to do, you are simply out of luck. End of story.
7. Consumers Pay the Price
Small businesses suffer as a result, but ultimately the even bigger loser--as always--is the consumer. Under this system, control of ideas is falling into the hands of the companies that are big, fat and unable to innovate, simply because they have the money and no other easy way to earn more. That, in turn, means the little guys--the innovative ones--can't bring to market the next big thing that could change consumers' lives, at least not without a heavily inflated price.