Big companies filing patents

Recently Walmart, Barclays, JP Morgan and other big corporations have been filing patents with the U.S. government. Most of these patents seem to relate to uses that are already being discussed or even implemented in open-source code.
Can they own something that they weren’t even involved in making?

And from whom will they try to recover “damages”? Is this the beginning of the end of patents as we know them today?


I intend to file a patent for a blockchain system that will improve the verifiability of date of creation for patents. :slight_smile: Patent Coin is coming! Haha

I want to establish date of creation, verify ownership, and store permanent data regarding intellectual property on blockchain. Perhaps distribution services could be handled via smart contract on the chain. This would cover patent, trademark, copyright and all claims to intellectual property.
It would really help inventors and artists who cannot afford lawyers to secure these rights for them.