The Economist is running one of it’s in depth Surveys on Software Patents and the Market for idea’s. Some of the content is available online but here is the 10 second version:
* The market for idea’s is one of the key drivers of Economic Growth.
* Large Companies are gathering Patents as a means of defense against other people enforcing patent claims on them.
* Patents , if used unwisely, can be a bit like the tolls that used to be charged travellers – good for the local warlords but bad for everybody else.
* Many large companies , including IBM and Novell are donating Patents to Open source as a means of helping the open software , and hence their own , interests.
* As other countries (e.g. China and India) gather their own Patent portfolio, the attitude to Patents and Copyright, instead of one way traffic, will become more balanced – for example the US Cogress was ready to forcibly licence an anti-anthrax drug from a German Company post 9-11. Expect
A good forum for expressing your views on Patents is Digitial Rights Ireland.