Working with clients in the technology sector I’m more than familiar with patents. The concept dates back to the 1400s and is always heralded as the bastion of innovation: a system protecting an individual or organisations’ ideas and innovations from being used by others – unless permitted under agreed terms.
It’s certainly a great and honorable idea but the reality is that it’s quickly being turned into a massive farce by money grabbing opportunists!
Most, if not all, of EML’s clients have patented some form of very clever and unique hardware, software or IP which they’ve invented and put countless man hours and money into developing and commercialising… and quite rightly so!
Then you have cowboys like Oleg Teterin. Good old Oleg has unbelievably just been granted a patent from the Russian Federal Patent Agency for the emoticon 😉 and is planning to chase firms using the symbol without permission.
How Oleg had the front to put in an application is one thing, but how it actually managed to get approved is beyond belief. Having spoken to clients who’ve applied for patents, I’m told the process certainly isn’t quick and it’s implied that all applications are assessed in depth. This begs the question, who in their right mind is making these decisions?
Oleg’s certainly not the first and undoubtedly won’t be the last to be granted a patent for something that is so far removed from innovation that it’s absurd. Clearly the modern patent system is losing its grip on reality and is being corrupted by a culture for patenting anything you can get away with for financial gain.
Would we be better off without a patent system? Of course not, but surely there’s got to be a better way of protecting and rewarding genuine innovation?
Anyway that’s my rant … I’m off to see how much of the English language I can get away with patenting 😉