The patent system was created to support entrepreneurs and encourage innovation. It was devised with the very best of intentions to ensure that anyone with a good idea had a window of time to develop and introduce it. The system has worked for over 250 years but recently unscrupulous individuals and organisations known as Patent Trolls, have seen it as a way of making easy money by charging companies for infringing patents they hold but have no intention of implementing. In addition legitimate companies will buy or hold patents for innovations that they have no intention of developing just to restrict competition.
There are 100,000’s of restrictive patents out there, and 100,000’s of companies worldwide being ripped off or restricted.
- Disease gene patents that threaten the ability of physicians to provide medical care to their patients by restraining research or requiring massive payments for it to proceed
- Seed patents that restrict farmers from replanting as they have for centuries.
- Patents that stop researchers finding a cure for cancer.
- Patents that prevent the manufacture and use of fully recyclable and enviro-friendly plastics.
- There is a patent for grass that stops growing held by a lawnmower manufacturer to ensure its not developed.
……….. and 1000’s and 1000’s more!
So what are we all going to do about it?