Patents should be reserved for real inventions, not just general ideas, Perry countered. Some people have thought that self-driving cars would be useful, but Google is the company that finally spent the money to create the invention, he said. Google should be able to get a patent on a self-driving car, not a person who thought of a self-driving car without designing one, he added.
"There are companies that spend tremendous assets -- money, time -- to develop real things," he said.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is email@example.com.