This American Life on patents


in Economics, Geek stuff, Internet matters, Law, Politics, Science

A recent episode of the This American Life podcast centres around technology patents, with emphasis on the so-called ‘patent trolls’ who harass legitimate companies using dubious patent claims, in hopes of getting cash settlements.

Designing an ideal patent system is an interesting question from a utilitarian perspective. It seems beneficial to encourage innovation and protect small companies with novel ideas from giant companies that might steal them. At the same time, patents can be used by big companies to bully small ones, and when obvious ideas are given patents it can prevent useful technologies from becoming widely available.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan August 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

NPR’s Planet Money podcast has an episode on the same general topic.

. August 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Parent reform? LOL

Is patent reform even possible?

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