This got to be the most twisted line of thought in all of this smartphone patent war I have seen up to now in order to get to use some else inventions for free:
Who gets to define what is “great” or when something is too “popular”? This is not like a 100m race with precise time measurements. History teaches us that once you set one of these “soft” standard, the standard tends to be lowered with time until it becomes meaningless.
OK, enough of Google and Apple. Every one, researchers and graduate students alike have the potential to come by a worthwhile invention. Protecting it is supposed to provide incentive to the inventors to benefit from their work and the time spawn is usually limited (contrary to the copyright which can now, in certain countries, last for decades even for works that heavily borrow from the public domain – another debate).
Invention protection through patents can be a good approach in certain situations e.g. you’ve developed something new, useful, that can be actually implemented or made, has a market large enough to potentially make money, … I also strongly believe that graduate students should get expose to intellectual property themes early during their graduate studies.
What do you think?