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Ideas and Ownership, The Art of War: Know Your Enemy's Patents, And Your Own

From The Conversation (Australia) IDEAS AND OWNERSHIP: The concept of protecting ideas and innovation by legal means dates back to antiquity. But many of our existing laws are under strain, their suitability and ultimate purpose called into question... might be surprised to know that many, perhaps even most, patents today are not used this way. In fact, patents are used in a whole range of different, strategic ways that raise interesting questions about the patent system and whether it is doing what we think it is doing – that is, providing incentives for inventors. One way we see patents used these days is in the accumulation of large patent portfolios.

Economists have tracked the rise of such portfolios, but in a way, all you have to do is look at the yearly patent league tables, which will tell you, for example, that IBM was granted more than 6,000 patents in the US in 2011, and Samsung more than 4,800. In fact, most patent offices around the world have been experiencing sustained rises in the number of applications for patents, and in patents granted, including in Australia.

Read the rest of the articles on IDEAS AND OWNERSHIP at the Conversation website:

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