Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, IBM, et al. are all guilty of chasing each other in the insane patent race. One has even gone so far as to patent gestures (such as diagonal movement across a phone screen), another downloading
; gestures and downloading damnit! But this time, thanks to a patent-friendly court in East Texas (US), Microsoft gets kneecapped as a judge has issued an injunction
that prevents it from selling Word 2003 and Word 2007 in the US after October 10th.
Isn't it time to rethink this whole process?
The patent system has long been distorted and corrupted by corporate money in the US. The main beneficiaries are attorneys. Why should the system change? Microsoft regularly rattles its patent portfolio when it wants to, and because of the system
that's flooded with patent trolls and frivolous patents of every conceivable thought, it's on the receiving end.
Politicians are swayed by campaign contributions that help them stay in office, but also by the promise of lucrative lobbying jobs after they leave it. Indeed, the promise of post-congressional soft landings probably makes it easier to ignore the corrosive effects that patents have on betrayed constituents (as consumers).
- Need to slash greenhouse emissions to prevent the ice caps from melting? You have to do it without hurting the energy companies.
- Need to rescue the economy and reform the financial system? You have to do it without hurting Wall Street.
- Need to make healthcare affordable and available to everyone? You have to do it without hurting the insurance companies.
- Need patent reform? You have to do it without diminishing the influence of the corporations or the advantages of holding thousands of frivolous patents each.
So if you're waiting for anything to change, it's virtually impossible to get there from here.