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How patents transformed from a bullet proof vest to a fully loaded gun

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On the surface, patents are a godsend for innovators, protecting those who create genuine products and ideas from copycats while also allowing money to be recouped after investing heavily into research and development. Over the years, however, what was once a form of defense has turned into loaded gun used by companies and, more prominently, patent trolls as a method to sue and intimidate others when possible infringement has occurred.

Wired's Steven Levy has taken an in-depth look at one Mitchell Medina, a man who has aggressively relied on an ever-broadening information-scanning patent to make his fortune, highlighting exactly what is wrong with the US patent system and how it became more about money than innovation. Head to the source to see how Medina allegedly betrayed his own partner, an inventor, as well as a brief history of the patent system and other infamous cases of patent trolling.