Google patent search

I see Google has a new patent search feature. This is one of the more useless Google features to those of us in the software industry. The first rule of software patents is “never read software patents”. The broad nature of many software patents makes it almost certain that my code infringes multiple patents out there (patents that one could argue should never have been granted, but the USPTO isn't really in the business of preventing patents). But I am a programmer, not a lawyer. I am not able to ascertain with any degree of legal certainty whether the code I am working on infringes a given patent. However, if I read a patent and subsequently get successfully sued for infringement by the patent holder, it's automatic triple damages for my knowing about it. I can only harm myself and the company I work for by reading patents.

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