How to determine when an invention is "obvious" is one of the most critical and contentious issues in patent circles. Over the past two decades, critics say, the hurdle for passing the obviousness test has been steadily lowered, and the U.S. is now awash in a sea of junk patents.There are several appealing solutions that address the 'obviousness' problem, among them the independent invention defense and premature expiration for lack of usefulness.
The article continues:
A coalition of businesses...and...two dozen intellectual-property law professors have made a similar filing. Massive overpatenting, the professors say, "creates an unnecessary drag on innovation," forcing companies to redesign their products, pony up license fees for technology that should be free, and even deter some research altogether. [links added]And concludes:
The bottom line: Rulings rejecting patents on the basis of obviousness are rare, and massive overpatenting continues to be a thriving business.Well said.
Take action on this issue: write to your Senators and Congressional Representatives (feel free to cut and paste any text from this or any article at Right To Create -- you may find the text on the independent invention defense or premature expiration particularly easy to use as the body of a letter to your elected officials).