With all the recent litigation against many players in IT, large and small, it is clear that rather than stimulating innovation, patents are being used to stifle competition. Google makes the point that a smart phone might touch on many thousands of patents and the litigation essentially makes innovation by new folks in the market impossible. That’s wrong. That’s not what the constitution of the USA says patents are about and it’s illegal to stifle competition.
“That revelation tells us the most fundamental fact about patent law in the US today — namely that even if you have as much money as Google, you can’t freely innovate and provide fabulous products because the patent thicket is so dense already and the Proprietary Patent Club is joining hands to keep any newcomer out of the competition. And that’s exactly why articles about Google “whining” or viewing this as just a verbal war are missing the point Google was making, namely pointing out that it can be *illegal* to use patents for an anticompetitive purpose. There’s a line, and Google is indicating that it thinks that line has been crossed.”
“United States patent law was established “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”
see Wikipedia -Â United States patent lawÂ
Patents may have had some use for inventors of devices like machines with a few moving parts but the concept of a patent on hundreds of thousands or millions of lines of code in the software of a smart phone is absurd. It does not scale. It does not scale for the complexity of the device nor for the billions of copies one presumably can sell. After the first million or so, Â the return on investment is huge and the purpose of patents has been met. The rest is abuse.