BT Sues Google for Patent Infringements (Wired)
Posted Jan 12, 2012 10:02 UTC (Thu) by anselm
In reply to: BT Sues Google for Patent Infringements (Wired)
Parent article: BT Sues Google for Patent Infringements (Wired)
As for revenue the patent offices are supposed to be self funded
AFAIR, one problem with the current system is that the (US, at least) patent office gets to charge fees for patents that are actually granted, but not for sub-standard applications that are eventually refused. This creates a powerful incentive on the part of the patent office to wave applications through and let the courts sort things out later, even for stuff that any reasonable person skilled in the field would refuse at first sight – somebody once said that, to the patent office, »obvious« means »obvious to a person with an IQ of 60«.
This suggests one obvious improvement to the system, namely to have failed applications incur patent office fees of the same order of magnitude as granted patents – so there is less bias towards granting rather than refusing patents. The fees for previous failed attempts could be reduced or waived if an application is improved to a point where it actually becomes patent-worthy, and the failure fees should rise in proportion to the size of the applying company's patent portfolio (since the more patents a company holds, the more it can be expected to know how to apply for another one). There should also be a hefty surcharge on the failure fee for companies trying to game the system and/or waste the patent office's time by attempting to patent stuff that is patently (!) obvious and/or non-novel, such as hyperlinks in 20xx.
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