The Oorganisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has recently warned of the impact of ever decreasing quality of patents being filed.
The report states “the quality of patent filings has fallen dramatically over the past two decades. The rush to protect even minor improvements in products or services is overburdening patent offices. This slows the time to market for true innovations and reduces the potential for breakthrough inventions”.
On the basis of measuring being the number of times a patent is cited as “prior art” in another patent, the OECD says that US, German and Japanese patents “produced about 70 per cent of the top 1 per cent of highly cited patents between 1996 and 2000, but their share had fallen to 60% five years later.”
With companies sueing over questioinable patents such as Apple, Samsung, HTC and the rest in an ever increasing patent trolling battle, innovation is suffering. It’s about time we all took a step back (by we i mean the so called innovators) and realised that innovation means working on great solutions and advancements that change our lives independently of what others might think or be doing.
Patenting comes afterwards when the commercial viablility must be proved to the shareholders and when true innovations brings a niche.