Saturday, June 8, 2013

Patent System Out of Control

This last week, there was an episode of this american life and an episode of planet money dealing with our current patent system. Holy crap is it broken! The heart of the problem seems to be that you can patent an idea, but having an implementation isn't necessary. The planet money episode digs into a particular case about podcasts, some guy patented the vague idea of patenting episodes and downloading them and wants all podcasters to pay him a royalty. ipods didn't even exist when he made that patent, let alone podcasts. Fuck that guy and fuck the system that makes this even a possibility.

The system allows you to patent an idea, wait years or decades for someone to actually invent the thing, then go sue them for a royalty. My wife and I were dumbfounded listening to this crap. I guess I might as well take advantage of the system, I'm going to go patent a jetpack. Hopefully someone else will go invent one and I can get rich off of it.

Image source
In all seriousness though, I have little to contribute here, except to try to help get the word out. Everyone should go listen to those shows (This American Life and Planet Money) and spread the word.


  1. You have to patent, "A method for getting from one place to another using a wearable jet powered vehicle." Then it doesn't matter what kind of jet pack gets invented - as long as people use it to travel.

    1. Money in the bank! :) It's sad that this is essentially what is happening in software right now. I was reading recently that there is actually some movement to reform the system soon, hopefully it will actually happen.

      Thanks for stopping by :)


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