Re: The real difference
What you're seeing are "defensive" patents, taken out on things they're currently inventing to make sure no one beats them to the punch. Defensive patents are prevalent in many industries, particularly pharmaceuticals where companies can't risk BEEELION-dollar-plus investments on new drugs on being stolen by the competition. So they take out patents on new drugs before they're ever made. Because of the time limit on patents, this puts the drug companies on the clock. To maximize their profit potential, they need to get the drug to market ASAP. However, they have to get past the testing the regulatory stages first. On average, by the time a drug actually gets to market, the patent clock only has a few years remaining on it.