We've already written about the NY Times' big article on our disastrous patent system
, but there was one line in the article that deserves to be called out with a separate post. As almost an aside, the article notes how much Google and Apple are spending
on patent related issues these days:
Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to public filings.
That seems like a pretty big problem, and one we should all be concerned about. Now, both Apple and Google are cash rich companies, so they can
spend a lot on patent issues, but all of that is money that isn't
going into actual innovation or developing new products. And, for smaller companies, it's much worse -- since basically all of them don't have the kind of cash reserves we're talking about with Google and Apple. If even these big companies are spending more on patents than on R&D, can't we agree that the system is completely broken?