HOPE X (2014): "Hacking the Patent System: The Vulnerabilities That Allow for Bad Patents and How to Stop Them" (Download)
Friday, July 18, 2014: 3:00 pm (Serpico): We are hearing about the problems of software patents everywhere: in the tech blogs, in the mainstream news, from the President, and even out of the Supreme Court. We hear stories of patent trolls destroying technology companies and small businesses with patents on such simple ideas as scanning to email or in-app purchases. How did we end up with a patent system that generates patents that become the tools of legal abuse? This talk will look at the patent system like an insecure OS, one rife with vulnerabilities in dire need of patching. Just as an unsecured computer can be misused to the ends of malicious users, vulnerabilities in the patent system allow clever lawyers and patenters to obtain patents on simple ideas, ones that anyone with an ounce of programming skill would find obvious. We will look at how to get a patent on comparing and adding two numbers - a patent that actually exists right now. We will consider the flaws in the system that allow aggressive patent holders to exploit weak patents and extract money from real innovators. And we will talk about how to fix that system - but only with the help of all of us who care about the future of technology.