The Patent, Used as a Sword (New York Times)

Here's a
lengthy New York Times article
looking at the problems with the US
patent system. "In the smartphone industry alone, according to a
Stanford University analysis, as much as $20 billion was spent on patent
litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to
eight Mars rover missions. Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple
and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases
exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to
public filings.