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Your post is a very good starting point for discussion about patent reform, Thom.
One of my "pet peeves" is patents about "appearance".
For example, patents on "rounded corners" of a window on a screen, or rounded corners on a device. Patents for a particular "finish" on a product - even patents for *colours*!
I believe that all patents for "appearance" should be declared invalid, and that patents should only be granted for novel *functionality*. This move in itself would cut out a lot of patent-trolling. Edited 2012-07-05 23:25 UTC