The software patent problem will get much worse before there will be any resolution, according to Red Hat deputy general counsel Mark Webbink.
Patents are increasingly an issue for open source and commercial software developers as the US Patent Office awards overly broad patents or fails to notice prior art.
The US Patent Office is expected to invalidate the disputed patent sometime in the future, but that decision will come too late for RIM.
"We are not going to see wholesale patent reform when we have a pharmaceutical industry that gives as much money [in political campaign contributions] as it does in the US right now," he said.
"The pharmaceutical industry is just too powerful in terms of its influence over Congress at this point."
Webbink added that Red Hat is focusing its efforts on correcting some of the most serious flaws.
"You're applying band aids to a much larger problem but, until the problem becomes a problem for more people, it's not likely to be reformed," he said.
The patent system is spinning further out of control, according to Webbink, and is set to claim victims outside the software sector.
Enterprises are increasingly applying for business method patents, for instance, that describe a way of doing business rather than a specific technology.
Such patents will affect a new range of businesses, and could help the software sector to build up support to counter the pharmaceutical lobby.
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