Timothy B. Lee has a great look at the ‘patent problem’:

The key question is whether patents have a net effect of encouraging innovation. And there’s no reason to believe this is the case. To start with, a big chunk of patent revenues simply flows to patent lawyers.

See also his statement on failed companies:

But the reason the auctioned patents are valuable is usually because the winning bidder will turn around and demand licensing fees from the failed company’s more-successful competitors, effectively punishing success.

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