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.



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,, speaking on patent searches and the rampant similarity of thousands of patents.