I know this may spark a debate here that may require moderators to stay on their toes, but the current state of software patents is simply driving me (and only me, I'm sure) nuts. This one* from engadget just piqued my interest in the topic, again, and while I know it's not the most absurd one, I just can't wrap my head around how anyone would even consider patenting something like this. I mean what ever happened to being new, useful, and non-obvious? Is the patent department really having trouble distinguishing "non-obvious" from "too trivial to bother implementing at this time"? I mean does the first person who chooses to implement a trivial feature on their platform automatically get the sole right to use it now?
I often wonder what side I'm "supposed to be" standing on being in software development. These patent wars want to convince everyone that they're protecting the developer, yet they seem to go against every moral idealism that so many developers say they strive for.
** Please note, by the way, that I understand this is just an article about a patent application, but from the patents out there today, I wouldn't be shocked if this one got full approval.