I just read the EFF’s new website (https://defendinnovation.org/) about how to change the patent system to prevent the patent trolls from stifling innovation. I like some of the ideas, but question how realistic others are (i.e. #3? – C’mon; How many implementations in how many languages will you need to write to cover all your bases?)
I realize this is an extremely naive statement to make, but I’m going to make it anyway; solving the ‘non-obvious’ aspect of a software patent is simple.
… and it doesn’t involve judges learning to code.
Here’s my proposal: Software patent proposals should include a unit test suite and a single solution implementation. The test suite would be made public immediately, without the implemented solution. The public would take a crack at making the test suite pass.
If there are no successful passes, then it could be deemed as a difficult problem with a non-obvious solution.
If the patent office is bombarded with working solutions, then it unquestionably fails the ‘non-obvious’ test.
It’s debatable what to do if a relative few brilliant developers solve it, while most fail. But this would definitely eliminate laughable patents like Amazon’s 1-Click which would have bombarded the patent office in less than an hour.