Don't bother with patents

It’s great to hear a sane voice in the intellectual property debate. Inc. Magazine has an article titled Relax. Let Your Guard Down, where they make the point that a company’s edge doesn’t hinge on a single big-bang innovation, but on a constant stream of smaller innovations.

“A lot of people think they’re in the invention business, but they’re really in the application business,” says Shader. “They confuse innovation with patents, and that’s a classic mistake.” Profitable innovation comes not from inventing a new product, he maintains, but from having a team of smart employees who figure out how to do a better job every time they interact with customers. “That sort of innovation will do a lot more for your company than a piece of parchment,” he says.

Patents are supposed to encourage innovation, by giving the incentive of having the exclusive right to the invention for 20 years. When the patent holder fails to build a sustainable business other than that of licensing their patents, and when other people routinely violate their patents without even knowing about it, you know that the system has failed its purpose.


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