I remember hearing Beth Noveck‘s talk on IT Conversations from Accelerating Change 2005 Conference (originally featured on ITC in June 2006) thinking that her ideas for a peer-reviewed patent system for the U.S. would be great, but that it was too radical and there was too much money in that hands of people who would benefit if it did not happen. Well, today the Washington Posts reports that it is going to happen (via TechMeme).
The article notes that this might bring on entirely new forms of gaming, lobbying, and trolls in the patent system. However, they will continue to reiterate the system as gaming problems arise. The system sounds like it may work like a cross between Digg and Yahoo Answers. I hope is eliminates the number of patents granted, because really they stimulate laziness and not innovation. Competition stimulates innovation, monopolies on ideas retard innovation. Patents are the like the adult equivalent of child yelling “I called it first!!,” and then punching each of your competitors in the shoulder (as Ze Frank might say). At any rate, this system is very welcome to the tech community and anyone who cares about innovation and the conveniences they provide to everyday people.
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