graeme_p - 8:51 am on Jul 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
An Australian lawyer manage to patent the wheel by wrapping up the application in the right language. AFAIK he has not attempted to enforce the patent.
The patent system needs drastic reform, and not just in the US either. One problem is that a system that was devised to provide an incentive to people inventing mechanical devices has been unthinkingly extended to electronic devices, pharmaceuticals, software and even business methods.
The other problem is that the obviousness criterion has been weakened.
It is hard to change because it has made a lot of people rich, so they lobby against reform.