re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
In terms of the patent system, there are three basic problems: the liberal legal interpretation of what constitutes a patent violation; the patentability of very low level items, such as icons on a screen and glass screens; and the length of time a product can be patented. All software should have a finite and reasonable expiration date which will take into account cost recoveries and profit before it is allowed to go generic. The same should be true for hardware. A related example is the copyright rules on published material. No book published since 1922 is in the public domain. That is excessive. In the case of products that are in continuous development, a short turnaround on the the length of the patent is needed. An example that comes to mind is motherboards. They basically have a production life of little more than a year or so, but the patent remains in place. There is no reason why some third party should not be able to produce the same board if there is enough demand for it, and it has been dropped by the original manufacturer. One need to look no further than the SCO linux patent trolling debacle that was originated exclusively to obtain license fees fraudulently to see how ludicrous the suits routinely filed by proprietary companies such as Apple really are. Yet they win settlements because in part of the legal expenses involved for the other party, and in part because the law is firmly on their side - laws that have needed to be completely revised for years. And probably will never be, because of the attitudes of corporations.