Patent Of The Day

Via Kevin Drum:

A GPS device is used to find shortcuts and avoid traffic, but Microsoft’s patent states that a route can be plotted for pedestrians to avoid an “unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures.”

The good news here is that the idea is so dumb that giving Microsoft a monopoly on it will do little harm. It’s the patenting of actually useful “technologies” that we need to worry about. But, again, there’s just no way on earth that handing out monopoly rights to ideas of this sort “promote[s] the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”