Patent for using a laser pointer to play with a cat.
Some silly things get patented, such as the method patent issued for using a laser pointer to play with your cat. But in recent years, questions have been raised as to whether companies should be able to patent software and certain technological methods of doing things.
The whole open source software movement, which brought us Linux and spawned Red Hat, among many other firms, has been one result of questioning the value of software patents.
Patent trolls, firms that create nothing but buy patents solely to seek license fees from other companies are also a growing problem.
On the other hand, obtaining patent protection for innovations is one way both start-up companies and established ones build value.
Frugal Dad, a web site that offers insights on money, careers and coupons, created this infographic to highlight the “Problem with Patents.”