Patent system needs overhaul http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/business-it/patent-system-needs-overhaul-20120830-251tb.html " Much anguish has been expressed over the Apple/Samsung patent court battle. It's not that this run of patent wars is new. They have been a feature of the technology business for over a century. One of the nastiest feuds was between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Apart from being a brilliant inventor, Edison was a consummate litigator. One of the reasons the movie business took root in California was to evade Edison's patent police. He owned the major patents on movie cameras and pursued anyone who reverse engineered his product. It is a suitable irony that copyright violation is one of the foundations of the American film industry. Edison's struggle with Westinghouse over alternating current versus direct current was typically bitter. By 1900 Edison's legal costs were $2 million, equivalent to $52 million in today's money. "