To provide a little break from the python lessons I want to bring to your attention the following This American Life episode, When Patents Attack.  This episode, in particular, brings up a little town about 30 minutes from where I grew up in East Texas.  Marshall seems to have encouraged a certain type leniency towards patent cases.  

If you listen to the entire episode you’ll hear about how so many of the larger tech companies are now gearing up and buying up patents, in order to be able to legally defend themselves.  As a start-up company, this makes me quite nervous.  There is a start-up, only slightly larger than us, who was sued for the simple idea of having a link in their free application, that connected a customer to the paid version of the app.  It seems like such a basic idea, why would someone patent something like that when it’s so difficult to identify where the true innovation occurred?  At least to me it seems that way.

It’s situations like this that intimidate so many younger innovators from pursuing their ideas.  What if I get sued, what would have been the point?  Which brings me back to the ever present stark question in my mind.  Why are there so many blatant money grubbing hands out there?  How can lax patent laws help create and produce jobs?  Based on this episode, it looks like they don’t.  It will be interesting to see the end reaction.