The total number of applications waiting for approval, more than 1.2 million, nearly tripled from 10 years earlier.
1.2 million applications! The trolls must be drooling. People are probably making claims on everything from diet plans to breathing. I wonder what percentage of these MS accounts for in their war against Linux/FOSS?
The philosophy behind patents needs to be questioned. Michael Faraday whose experiments laid the groundwork for several British industries in the 19th century was against patents and published all his discoveries to prevent other people patenting the ideas. As the article says, less than 10% of patents granted impacted on the US economy and, as the open source companies have found have found, it is perfectly possible to make money without patents.
The patent system has become so convoluted that it actually stifles innovation and creativity. Companies use them as ammunition to intimidate customers and competitors (do I need to name anybody here?) It’s an industry now, with companies doing nothing but piling up claims and generating income by filing infringement claims.
There are patents on human genes, for crissakes! Researchers are stifled in breast cancer research because a company in Utah has exclusive rights to a natural gene found in all human bodies and all testing must go through the patent holder’s labs.
Something has to give. A group of open source advocates has formed a lobbying arm that might provide a voice for this. I hope so, otherwise any “changes” will be catered to companies like M$ and won’t make things much better.