Getting to grips with patents [Infographic]

Patent wars dominated tech news in 2011. One in particular, between Samsung and Apple spanned the globe and with suits and countersuits in the US, South Korea, Australia and a number of nations throughout Europe. Things don’t look like they’ll be much different in 2012. Patents came about with best of intentions: rewarding and protecting ingenuity, but can they actually do more harm than good?

A large part of the battle between Apple and Samsung arose from the fact that the latter was responsible for manufacturing a number of the former’s products. Add in other outsourcing partners in the manufacturing process and it becomes pretty clear that the world of patents can become a tangled web of complicated legalese.

In the world of software, where abstract ideas and fragments of code can be vital to the final product, the situation can be even more confounding.

In the legal world, patents are now an industry worth billions of dollars.

Financial blog Frugal Dad has produced an infographic explaining precisely why patents can be so problematic. The infographic was inspired by an episode of weekly public radio show This American Life called “When Patents Attack!”.

patents infographic





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