Growing up, I got to hear about patents a lot. Heck, dad has had his name on a fair share of them and I’ve seen the plaques to prove it.
At the time, patents were used in such a way to protect your intellectual property from other corporations from stealing your ideas and creating knock-offs. There are pretty specific laws on what you can do, once a patent is handed out and how things such as reverse engineering is limited to a certain percentage that can be very similar and so on, so forth.
These days though? You just see what I deem as frivolous lawsuits that are spent basically on the basis of trying to reach into the pockets of larger corporations. In fact, there are corporations out there, that their whole business is based on filing patents and then suing. Sounds pretty unethical to me, and you would imagine that the Patent Office wouldn’t hand out such patents.
There are certain things that can or cannot be done in a certain fashion, but trying to sue a larger corporation or FUD a smaller one is just… well, pansy. Maybe it’s just me.
But it sounds like there needs to be patent oversight. It wasn’t long ago that I remember reading about someone that had set up a patent for the warp drive. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but if it was? That’s just ridiculous.
This is truly a time where if the government was supported to do anything with the Patent Office, it would tighten the reins. No more just handling out patents because people pay the money for the application. A lot of these things need to be contested. And if people start lawsuits that are proven to be just stretching the boundaries of the law just to make money from the lawsuit instead of actual protecting intellectual or actual tangible property, then there should be black marks set against those individuals or corporations. Maybe it’s just my opinion, but the world doesn’t need more stupid things going on that hurts technological innovation. It needs less.
And in my opinion, without more oversight on how patents are handed out and how they are used, it devalues the point of a patent altogether. At least in my eyes.
Photo Credit: (niallkennedy)