In June, Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the long running patent case between Apple and Motorola (now owned by Google). In his decision, Judge Posner stated in part, " ... it’s because the parties have failed to present enough evidence to create a triable issue."
Now in a new interview for Reuters, Judge Posner says that the tech industry doesn't really need patents. Indeed, he adds, "It's not clear that we really need patents in most industries." One exception is pharmaceuticals patents, which take a long time to develop in that industry. However, that's not the case for software products and Judge Posner believes that the companies that develop them would be helped more by getting them quickly into the marketplace with no patents to hold them back.
Another point about smartphones and other hardware products is that they have tons of parts inside, all of which could be protected legally by patents. Judge Posner states, "You just have this proliferation of patents. It's a problem."
Judge Posner actually volunteered to oversee the patent case between Apple and Motorola but in the end he made the decision to dismiss it, saying, "I didn't think I could have a trial just for fun."