I don't think there is anything to be feared about patents in regard to the development of Consumerium itself, because Consumerium simply isn't patentable anywhere.
- That's just not true. The scope of patents has expanded in recent years everywhere. Business process patents, for instance, would clearly be able to cover the Consumerium Services. And, even if those processes are fully revealed to the public domain via say this R&D wiki, there may be other ways, some more efficient, to deliver a Consumerium buying signal. These may be patentable implementations, and they may prevent some future improvement we want to pursue if we don't take steps to prevent it.
- Also, more general elements of a healthy signal infrastructure may be patentable, and, we may come up with specific hardware requirements that can only be met by producing new hardware that would be patentable for sure.
- It's also very hard to tell where a software patent is going to apply. Encryption, compression, etc., all these things. Also see Talk:DMCA for a whole nother issue of copyright abuse.
Naturally these news about GMOs being patentable here and there are quite disturbing as if GMO in itself weren't disturbing enough. I won't get all dystopic just now and I hope no-one else does either.