- Google trying to patent web-syndication ads
- Amazon trying to patent online marketplace where consumers search and pay for Web services
And finally the increasing load at patent offices due to a deluge of patent applications in software and business processes.
Of course, one issue that will bother a certain section of people is if web-based aplications and software should be taken to IPR protection regime at all, because it stifles innovation and goes against the culture of sharing, that web is so apt for.
But “no IPR” would also not be a feasible thing. At least not in short run. May be in long term a different system will come into place, which will be sustainable, but in short run if somebody is putting in effort in developing something, he/she must be given the opportunities to recover the cost.
So assuming that IPR will have a role here, would the traditional IPR systems be appropriate for the innovations in these areas. If we play a word-association game, the word that will come to the mind of many of us when “Web” is mentioned would be speed. Traditional IPR systems are not at all made to address this issue. By the time a patent is granted, the company may need to move onto next technology. It will hardly be in a position to use it, even if there are any provisions to recover its due in retrospect for the sheer problem of getting distracted away from the future potential and getting tangled in past.I am no expert in IPR; and hence it is difficult for me to think of the exact structure, but certainly a new IPR system would be required to make IPR effective in these fast developing fields. The system should also take care of simplifying the procedures so as to not make patent offices over-burdened. After all, these fields are likely to have far more number of at least “Claimed Innovations” than any field has had in past has had. And these innovations will come a much faster rate. The resulting deluge (of which we might only be seeing a very small portion today) will need to be handled.