The avalanche of mainstream press stories condemning the state of the patent system (especially when it comes to software) continues. The latest is a column in the Wall Street Journal by former WSJ publisher L. Gordon Crovitz that also condemns the state of the patent system
. I don't always agree with Crovitz (in fact, I was just strongly disagreeing
with him over his First Amendment views), but it's nice to see another well known commentator point out the problem and pure economic waste created by the patent system:
The costs of our broken patent system are often abstract, but this month Google put a price tag on the problem: $12.5 billion. That's what Google paid for Motorola's U.S. smartphone business and its 17,000 patents. This is $12.5 billion that one of America's most creative companies will not use to innovate, fund research or hire anyone beside patent lawyers.
The value of patents in software and hardware such as smartphones has everything to do with litigation risk. It has almost nothing to do with technology.
So now we've got This American Life, the NY Times, the Washington Post, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal -- all coming out with articles about how the patent system is massively hindering innovation in the tech industry, and is generally driving money to unproductive and non-innovative parties. So, again, we have to ask, why is Congress still pretending that it's tackling this problem with its current useless patent reform bill that doesn't address the problems raised by all of these articles? Where's the real patent reform, Congress?