I already did. It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!
The first reform in US patent laws in decades is a fact. However, nobody has any serious expectations towards it. How come?! And what actually is the change? Well, it appears the change is quite interesting according to this article in physorg: 1) "The America Invents Act changes the way one can obtain patents to a new "first to file” system replacing the old "first to invent" system."
This effectively means that everyone is free to steal and espionage, the patent will be given to whoever files first. Sure, this will speed up the process of granting patents. But is this the major problem in the system - the lack of speed? Or the fact that everyone patents everything, even when that thing is not eligible for patenting - like the situation with human genes, which was solved by the Court (see Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent). ""People patent any old thing and they repatent things that are already patented," he said."No truce expected in global patent wars. So even if this change is well-intended, it will serve no good. Correction - it will. It will serve lawyers just perfectly. Because the more patents, the more companies will be sued over them. And consequently, the more money for the lawyers. Yeah.
The second change is that the patent office will be able to gather fees for itself. Which basically means that they will have a good motivation to grant even more patents. Oh, well.
For me this system has to go. And the sooner the officials realise it, the better. Because this is only the beginning of the patent war. What do you think Google will do with their 12 billions worth patents? Keep them safe and warm? Or all the other recent patent deals. There's gonna be a war and the users/customers are the ones who will pay for it. Because that's what always happens. The giants fight, the humans suffer. Everybody steals from everybody, but in the end, usually the ones who sell cheaper gets banned (like Samsung vs. Apple). And people are forced to pay more. Microsoft gets $15 from each Android device sold (see Microsoft Milks More Patent Licensing Dollars Out of Android Manufacturers). Who do you think pays those money? We do. Why? Because M$ holds the patent on something that they never developed, that they never marketed into a successful product, that they never made a hit, but yet, now they earn from it. How fair is this? It is not! But does the government care about it? No. Not really.
Sure, the idea of patents is good - to protect the inventors, to make sure if you invest in something, you will earn from it. But in what research exactly did any of those huge companies invested in when BUYING patents from other companies? None. How this helps inventors or invention as a whole - it doesn't, not at all. It's preventive act against patent trolls (or patents vampires)! Those patents may never be used in any product, but they are important, because they are weapons in the hands of whoever pays more. And those weapons are meant to kill anyone who has the wit to want to enter in the competition. They are not scary for Google or Apple or Microsoft. They will pay their $15 per device, or pay to lawyers and everything's going to be all right. Those weapons are scary only for small companies who are just starting with bright and fresh idea, that could make them rich, that could change the market, that could steal from the pie of the giants. And that is of course unacceptable. Now tell me about innovation or free market!
And anyway, in current dynamical world, 20 years for a patent is ridiculous. No current IT product is sold for more than 10 years (or even 5) as it is. Then the patents lasting so long are obsolete and they actually stifle innovation. So instead of developing the patented technology when it is actually worth something, 20 years later, the technology is lost, because life moved on.
I didn't even start with software patents which are absurd. It's like an author patenting a phrase, so that nobody can use it in another book. Sound stupid, right? Well, it is. But it happens. Everything get patented. And in the end, nobody will be able to move or to develop, because of eventual patents. And progress will suffer. Because governments are too busy keeping the statusquo and protecting the giants (and their lawyers) instead of thinking of ways to change radically the system into something serving the society as a whole. Nothing new, I know, but we could do so much better.