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More ammunition why patents are EVIL

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So, let me get this straight.  Amazon had the patent in the pipeline since 2006, without it being revealed, and in the meantime, Barnes & Noble releases the nook, which apparently violates the patent.  How is this fair?

If corporations and various companies decided to start actively enforcing their patents, you'd see almost all software grind to a halt around the world, or at least its innovation. I figure this is why most hackers code without looking up patents first (willful infringement carries much greater penalties). But it's the most commonsensical things that get patented, e.g., Apple patented "gestures" on a flat screen a few years ago. Really? Gestures!

I knew a guy who was a welder.  He paid an attorney to attempt to patent welding bicycle hand brakes onto wheel chairs.  Apparently other than those stupid lever things that wedge the wheel, and a "parking brake" with 106 moving parts that engages when the person gets out of the chair, there's no brakes that can be applied.  His idea was that the person wheeling the patient should have hand brakes on the chair handles to slow down going down ramps etc..

I suggested he just open a side business welding the things on instead of trying to patent it.  But he didn't want anyone to steal his idea!!!

Patents certainly do seem to kill competition and innovation - and oddly enough industries without patents seem to do fine...

But the immediate problem here is people getting such broad sweeping patents (in this case it could perhaps also apply to dual screen tablets, the nintendo DS, and some phones) - someone in the patent office should be able to see that these are not specific enough. It also is quite damaging that amazon has no device that uses the patented concept, how can you patent something you dont exploit, just to prevent others from jumping ahead of you?

better buy a nook now :)


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