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Seems like a simple solution would be to quickly reject the stuff that is obviously ridiculous. Mega corps ask for patents in droves; if it is something they really care about, couldn't they just resubmit?
EDIT: shamefully I know very little, but I assume there is a minimial price to ask for a patent. As long as this is in place and not prohibitive for the average joe, then this idea seems like it would be viable. The alternative would be a "patent submission tax" for companies over a certain size. However, if there's one thing that seems to be true in the US, it is that large corps seem to get more government benefits than small corps (and not just through loop holes - also through the result of lobbying). Edited 2012-07-06 10:24 UTC