Patents: Mark Cuban's modest proposal
With Congress expected to finish work soon on a long-awaited patent-reform bill, it's getting a bit late for people to weigh in with Big Ideas. Nevertheless, that's what tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban did on his blog Sunday, calling for an end to patents on software and business methods.
The standard argument in favor of such patents is that anything that meets the requirements for protection -- including that it's new, useful and not obvious -- should receive it. According to this view, the complaints against software and business-model patents are really complaints about poor judgment by patent examiners. In other words, the problem is corrected by examiners applying the criteria more thoughtfully, not by ruling out whole categories of invention.
Cuban, by contrast, considers software and business-method patents to be job-killers. To read more about his provocative (as usual) views, head over to my post at The Times' Technology blog.
-- Jon Healey
Credit: EPA / Larry W. Smith