Patent as invention stifling

I read this post over at Techdirt with some curiosity. The interesting part, to me, isn't the case itself, but rather that the judge implicitly recognized that patents actually stifle innovation (if only for "short times").

I've been moving more and more over the past few years to feeling that the entire patent system is useless. It started with the realization that there is no societal benefit to software and business method patents (where an idea, rather than an implementation, is patented), but more and more I'm feeling like there is no benefit to any patents.

And the "short time" bit? Well, if the judge feels that twenty years is a short time, then I would posit that he hasn't been paying much attention to how quickly technology is moving forward these days.

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