Excellent Radio Program/podcast about patents in the USA (which kind of follows a Michael Moore documentary style and approach ;-)).
In general, I have strong reservations on how patents are issued in the US. In particular, software patents are something that really surpass my comprehension and so far in Europe we have been safe from such a plague (not sure for how long, though… the lobby is strong and our european politicians are kind of weak…).
Patent trolls subverted the patent original idea of protecting IP for inventors who come up with original and non-trivial proposals, and I’m inclined to think that such patent troll people/entities/corporations do more harm than good to innovation in a global worldwide scale…
I should at some point try to understand what is the portuguese scene in what regards patents and promote debate and discussion on these important topics that have such a strong impact on research, innovation and entrepreneurship. I’ll keep you posted.
For anyone interested on this topics, a good resource to follow is Techdirt blog/forum.
Really nice interview with Bill Buxton, during CHI2011 conference, where he exhibited his impressive collection of gadgets that range from watches, to all sorts of joysticks and hand held devices.
By the way, Microsoft Research and Bill Buxton are compiling this impressive and valuable collection on a website that is a mandatory study reference for anyone studying/working on HCI, Interfaces and Interaction. The site includes detailed photos, descriptions and comments by Bill himself and videos of the working user interfaces and how some of the devices operate are being uploaded into the website.
So, before you dare to present any “novel” interface/interaction design/HCI solution to the world, just follow Bill’s advice and check first if someone else already proposed that same approach some years ago (and save yourself from some embarrassment ;-)).