Strong opinions, weakly held

The chilling effect of patents

Two guys come up with a good idea for a camera strap and start selling it. Competitor applies for a patent on a similar concept. Despite the fact that plenty of prior art exists that should prevent such a patent from being granted, it’s issued on November 1. On November 9, the small company announces that it’s discontinuing its products rather than risk a legal battle over the patent. Once again the real damage of the patent office failing to discharge its duty effectively is illustrated.


  1. I’ve assumed for a while that the USPTO was just incompetent. I’m now leaning toward corrupt.

  2. just impossible, Stan Taylor, just impossible. no one can arbitrate amongst hypothetical laymen in an impossibly complex and pregnant world like this one.

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