Patent law demands the people to defy the laws of physics. It's obvious from the court cases that examining the true meaning, depth and breadth of a single patent can take months or years. On the other hand USPTO granted 247,713 patents in 2011 alone. Assuming a full-time job (240 working days and 8 hours a day) this equates to 129 patents per hour. It's physically impossible to even read the monopoly rights granted to patent holders. Even if that was possible it's still impossible to analyse and understand the selected patents that my be related to the line of business. Even if that was possible the language used in paten applications make impossible to judge the validity and extend of the patent protection. Can an inventor or small company be held responsible for not defying the laws of physics? I'm not talking about the negligence. It's physically impossible to keep up with the current rate of patent granting. Would that be a sufficient defence line?
zoobab writes "The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, warning of risks for the European Parliament to be "circumvented" as a legislator when the EU will accede to the European Patent Convention (EPC). The European Patent Organisation is everything except a model of democracy: national patent offices are in power, there is no parliament involved in the decision making process, and diplomatic conferences are held behind closed doors. There are plans to create a central patent court in Europe, which would operate in a democratic vacuum, as it would not be counterbalanced by any legislative assembly, let alone the European Parliament. Such central patent court could also validate software patents via caselaw (as it was recently done with the Microsoft FAT patent by the German Supreme Court), and Microsoft, IBM or SAP are lobbying in Brussels not to reopen the software patent directive."