Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Patents: Get Rid Of Them (Video)

Investors Fred Wilson, Chris Dixon, And David Lee On Software Patents: Get Rid Of Them (Video)

New, non-obvious, useful are the common standards for an idea to be patentable.

But more fundamental is understanding the purpose of patents: to provide inventors the incentive to invent. Most patented software, I think, would have been invented regardless of whether patent protection existed because it was a standard iteration in the course of business that provided a competitive advantage. Would Amazon not have implemented one click buying if not for patent protection. Would another company not have done it within a year. Whether to offer patents on software is not an issue of whether one is for or against property rights, but rather a question of what bargain the government wants to make with inventors who documents their invention in exchange for temporary protection from competition. In the case of most software inventions the the public is likely better off not offering patent protection. If an invention is particularly complex or unique, copyright and trade secret protection can be used rather than patents, thereby eliminating companies risk of getting sued despite never encountering the prior art.

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