Stop the Patent Process Madness

Wired has published an excellent article by Lauren Weinstein on the ludicrous state of Intellectual Property patents:

"Business methods and software patents have become a cesspool of attempts to control what many observers feel to be routine and obvious procedures."

Patents now exist for everything from exercising your cat with a laser pointer to one click online shopping. Weinstein makes the point that it’s a win/win situation for lawyers:

"Even when courts ultimately rule a particular IP claim invalid, the real winners in these battles, as usual, are the lawyers, who rake in the fees either way."

You can bet that a lot of lawyers made big bucks from the Macromedia vs. Adobe debacle.

This isn’t something that just affects businesses either. A key breast cancer test can no longer be carried out in Canada because an American company has patented a gene:

"Utah-based Myriad Genetics Inc. has put a patent on two genes that can signal whether a woman may develop hereditary breast cancer."

What a sickening state of affairs. I can only echo Weinstein’s words:

"We need to take a hard look at the fundamental ways in which IP laws have been perverted from their original purpose as creativity enhancers, into sordid money machines in this country and around the world."

Hear, hear.

Have you published a response to this? :

Previously on this day

18 years ago I wrote Multiculturalism vs. feminism

The situation in Afghanistan has highlighted something of a dilemma for the liberal left - a group I would usually consider myself a part of.