Published at LXer:
Steven Levy has always been a great writer covering the tech industry, but his article on "the patent problem" for Wired is a must read
, even if you're familiar with these stories. He does a great job illustrating just how screwed up the patent system is, focusing on a few key trolls, and pulling in some important information and data to support the anecdotal claims. Much of the story is about Mitchell Medina, who took a ridiculous patent that came from an idea about scanning medical documents into electronic format, and turned it into a belief that he held a patent on which practically every website infringed. You really should read the whole thing, but a few tidbits: first off, Medina and the two other people named on the patent never actually could build a working product.