Inside the BlackBerry Workaround
the patent system is too lax, and the criteria for offering patents is flawed, but the system does not hurt innovation. Not at all.
The system is what is hurting innovation. It allows for companies like NTP to buy patents for the sole purpose of sueing people/companies that are actually innovating on the patent. My 2 cents is that patent law should require that any patents owned by individuals or corporation must be utilized for some product in the marketplace within an agreed upon timeframe. If it isn't, then it should go up for bid so that a person that wants to innovate using it can. If no one bids, it should just go into the public domain. Of course, there are lots of things that have to be worked out (timeframe, bid values, etc.), but you get the general idea.