This week the “This American Life” radio show on MPR aired the following story.  It’s good to see that this is getting some wider coverage.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack

Transcript: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/sites/default/files/TAL441_transcript.pdf

And http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/26/138576167/when-patents-attack

This American Life published an audio exposé on the problems of software patents and the current abuses of the patent system; it talks about how the patent system is failing business and preventing innovation; including:

  • Patent system abusers
    • Patent “trolls” & sham companies
    • The role of Intellectual Ventures
    • East Texas
  • Bad patents
    • Issued on obvious concepts
    • Overly broad
    • Written for attorneys, not engineers
  • Negative impact on innovation
There is a very revealing quote by Peter Detkin of Intellectual Ventures, “Litigation is just licensing by other means”.
Also cited (of interest) in the report:
  • David Martin of M-CAM, http://www.m-cam.com/, speaking on patent searches and the rampant similarity of thousands of patents.