The Financial Times featured an article last week calling the patent system the curse of innovation. Patents have become weapons of mass destruction in certain industries, most recently in the smart phone category.
"Escalating courtroom battles over intellectual property – whether evidence of an efficient market in ideas or a sign of a broken paten system – are placing a mounting burden on the (technology) sector…In smart phones alone, an estimated $15 to $20 billion has been spent buying patents for both defensive and offensive strategies. Legal bills are conservatively estimated at $500 million."
Many call this level of spending a colossal squander. The patent fights are not just in the tech sector. Stable industries like food, autos, and mining all face dramatic increases lawsuits.
The patent system is not the only curse associated with innovation: