cheesedog writes "The IEEE Spectrum proposes a new type of patent that wouldn't require formal examination, would cost significantly less than traditional patents, would last only 4 years from date of first commercial product, and which wouldn't carry a presumption of validity. These 'limited patents' would be attractive to innovators in the fast-moving high-tech industry that can't wait 18-24 months for patent approval, and would help improve patent quality by populating the USPTO's prior-art database more efficiently. Additional commentary on this proposal is available."
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