Tech, Toys, and Tidbits

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/12/microsoft-cofounder-paul-allen-tries-again-with-patent-megasuit.ars

Seriously?  This just underlines how badly the US patent system is broken.

How did a Microsoft cofounder get a patent on “Browser use for navigating through information?”  I suppose he thinks IE was the first browser too.

“Managing a users peripheral attention” is patentable?  I guess notes in the margin of textbooks all get to pay royalties to him too…  Or the little TV station watermarks in the corners of TV broadcasts, or even the blinky light on cell phones that tell you that you missed a call.

The patent system was created to protect intellectual property, not stifle innovation or try to reap profits from an idea that is either obvious or has existed in other works for decades or even centuries.

Hell, maybe I should get a patent on “Character combination displayed on a medium in order to symbolize language and express information” and see if I can get royalties every time anyone writes anything down!

Paul Allen (and every other patent troll) is a total and utter shitbag.