As a layman I can’t say I am an expert on patents. Seeing how the major tech companies seem to spend so much time in courts suing each other they much be very essential to the companies bottom line. Reading between the line I get the feeling that they are basically using the power of their patents and the legal system to frustrate their rivals, inventors and innovators. This is just to keep competition at bay and no other reason.
I know companies spend billions on research but if they do not use those patents in a specified time I do not see the point of them preventing others from using the ideas in building new technologies or improving existing ones. Patenting something like “Swipe to Open” on mobile phones or tablets and preventing others from using it just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t believe giving patents for using finger gestures for example is right but that is my opinion. As humans we’ve always used our fingers for just that. When I was a kid back in Africa the first media I used was the ground and my finger was my pen. We point things out and draw with our finger and its only natural that we are able to do so on touchscreen without somebody having a patent for that! Touch is the most natural way we do things.
Patents also drive the cost of products up eventually affecting the customer. I have no problems with a company that has spent millions or billions on research and have brought a product to market. Yes they need to recoup their cost, but some of the patents are so ridiculous with basically nothing spent on them. Is it just a system of legalised monopoly? With my little knowledge I think it is and that in most cases it suppresses innovation.