We have to have a Patent System
Although I didn't like Apple winning that case, I thought Andrews piece was an attempt to get a decent conversation on the subject started, no more slanging match slanging match slanging match (Tech echo chamber!) please!
There are claims here that the Patent system is wrong, bad, government control, is only for the big boys etc etc and at the high end of Tech biz, I admit it does seem that way sometimes. But I think the system is an absolute necessity, it needs improvement for sure, but an absolute must have for a society that uses money to function.
In the mid naughties, I visited the Patent Office in the UK for a free advisory session, as I had an idea and wanted to see if it was patentable. After a very positive session, I then went to find out the costing for 'searches' (to see if your idea will clash with any other patents) and then UK, European, US and 'World' patent costs. Not a huge amount but enough to make me look closer at the value and marketability of the idea itself. Had I chosen to proceed with the idea, the amount I would have to have invested in design/manufacture/distribution was considerably more than the patent costs, and the patent would at least offer me some protection whilst I set about investing in the product itself. I can't see how anyone would set about investing in a completely new idea without this protection, especially where the idea can easily be copied - That isn't control, bad or evil, it's freedom.