Fixing the Patent System - Tricky but possible....
So, first of all I'm not fundamentally against patents or intellectual property in general. Basically they are a "good thing".
Secondly, Apple is a real innovator not a patent troll. And clearly other companies are copying their stuff, so they should get paid for that. This seems reasonable to me. Or are you trying to tell me that the Galaxy tablets and Android are in no way influenced in their design by the iPad and iOS?
However, the current patent system fails on many points.... let me give you my thoughts on that....
First of all it rewards coming up with ideas and not actually taking those ideas to market. Both parts of this are (equally?) difficult. So, if I patent idea X, then do nothing about it but just wait until someone else later independently thinks of idea X and implements it in the market I can sue them. That doens't sound right. So, I would say that if you come up with a patent but don't follow up with implementation and product you should lose your rights to the patent. Patent trolling is bad for everyone.
Secondly, if I own a patent I can totally stop production of a competitive product, sometimes _prior_ to getting a ruling. That isn't helping consumer choice. So, I woud say an independent board (tricky, I agree) should set license fees and it should not be possible to block competitive products - it should just be mandatory to pay the patent owners.
Thirdly, patent length should be variable according to likely time to market. I would propose that the patent office should determine how easy it is to implement a patent. This shoud be something like "How long should it take to bring this to market?". if the answer is "10 years", then the patent length should be 10 years longer than if the answer is "1 day". The likely result of this is that software patents would be shorter than most other patents, and that's a good thing.
Finally, there should just be less patents. Patents should be for things that are _really_ innovative. Tricky, but actually not really. Just take the current patent system and the patent office gives each patent a score for "innovation". In my view the bottom 90% should just be rejected.
By the way, about the article - so, if someone bad agrees with you then your idea is bad. Poppycock. Kim Jong Il wore clothes therefore we should all go naked.... etc. sorry, but this is just a failed rhetorical concept.