Time for Patent Reform

There is a good opinion piece in the NY Times discussing the need for patent reform.

Patents are a good thing when used properly. They are needed to encourage innovation, and protect people from having their work copied. But when you can patent a relationship between homocysteine levels and a vitamin B-12 deficiency, something feels out of whack. According to the piece, bodily processes are not patentable, yet that’s exactly what we see here.

Hopefully, this article will serve as another wake up call that we need serious [tag]patent reform[/tag] here. Recently, RIM ended a long court battle with NTP over RIM’s BlackBerry service. NTP is a patent holding company. Needless to say, RIM is pushing for some patent reform now.

When I think of a patent holding company, I think of a company that holds many patents on ideas. They wait for another person or company to develop the product, then sue them.

It would be easy to blame the USPTO for all these problems. But I’m guessing they are doing the best job they can do. I’ve tried to look a few patents, and as with anything related to the government, they are pretty damn hard to read.

Let’s hope that something is done to reform the patent system, or we’ll all be facing problems down the road.

[tags]News, Patents, BlackBerry, RIM, NTP[/tags]