Technology: Are There Really Any New Ideas?

Cover of "The Machine Stops: And Other St...

I was recently introduced to “The Machine Stops,” a science fiction short story written by E.M. Forster in 1909. It’s interesting to me that most of the technologies that we take for granted these days, instant messaging, The Internet, television, were written about over a hundred years ago. It also makes me question the patent system, when authors have been writing on possible inventions for years, but then someone comes along later and patents something that is already an idea in the public domain.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against patents, but I am against what the U.S. Patent System has become, where companies buy and sell patents like stocks. Yes, ideas are currency and they should be protected, but patents shouldn’t be issued for things that are expected to occur or have been predicted for years.

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