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Patently Obvious

November 18, 2009

Robert Pozen’s Op-Ed in the New York Times does a fabulous job of simplifying the state of patent law and takes a no-nonsense concise approach to communicate what needs to be done to fix some major flaws.  It even manages to do so without needless reductivism and oversimplification.  In that sense, it is a major accomplishment of writing, if not policy, since I’m guessing Robert Pozen isn’t lining the pockets of Congressmen.

The quality of American patents has been deteriorating for years; they are increasingly issued for products and processes that are not truly innovative — things like the queuing system for Netflix, which was patented in 2003. Yes, it makes renting movies a snap, but was it really a breakthrough deserving patent protection?

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