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The recent announcement by the Electronic Frontier Foundation regarding their foundation of an "Endangered Gizmo's" list ( URL moved ) brought Half Bakery to mind.
Many ideas showing up on Halfbakery have been thought of before and indeed may already be patented ( hence the baking). An additional
category for rating an idea would be it's endangered status for situations where it's baked but not available to the market due to broadly written and in many cases undeserving patents.
This might serve to highlight some of the damage the underfunded and dysfunctional patent office is doing to innovation in this country.
Anyone wonder why the Japanese have so many cooler and varied gadgets?
EFF's "Endangered Gizmos"
"...suppose none of us had ever been given the opportunity to use or own a TiVo -- or, for that matter, an iPod?" [bristolz, Feb 07 2005]
||Your patent office in Japan sounds like it has a particular bias towards refrigeration-oriented ideas.
||A successful DRM approach allows innovative gadgets rather than the traditional rights management approach (legislative) which eliminates them. The current problem is that DRM is cumbersome.