Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Patents and Intellectual Property

All this talk of innovation has us thinking about patents and intellectual property. But with the world moving from "mechanical" to "digital," as Charles Duhigg terms it, are the same old patent laws still adequate?

The digital age presents new problems in enforcing patent laws, and patent lawsuits are becoming more widespread. This has the damaging effect of discouraging entrepreneurs and making it more difficult and less attractive for them to hone their new ideas for the marketplace.

Further, the race for patents means that companies are filing patents for concepts instead of products and using these patents to, essentially, hold their place in line.

Duhigg writes, "[T]he marketplace for new ideas has been corrupted by software patents used as destructive weapons."

Listen to more about this in a story on NPR's Fresh Air: "In Digital War, Patents are the Weapon of Choice."

Read Charles Duhigg's New York Times article, "The Patent, Used as a Sword."

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