If Patents Are So Important To Innovation, Why Do Innovative Companies Keep Opening Up Their Patents Rather Than Enforcing Them?

Sat, 3 Oct 2020 05:28:21 +1000

Andrew Pam <xanni [at] glasswings.com.au>

Andrew Pam

"To hear many politicians (and, tragically, many academics) tell the
story, patents and patent policy are keys to innovation. Indeed, many
studies trying to measure innovation use the number of patents as a
proxy. For years, we've argued that there is little evidence that
patents are in any way correlated with innovation. Indeed, in practice,
we often see patents get in the way of innovation, rather than being a
sign of innovation. If anything, an influx of patents seems to indicate
a decline in innovation, because as the saying goes, smart companies
innovate, while failed companies litigate. Litigating patents tends to
happen when a more established company no longer is able to compete by
innovation, and has to bring in the courts to block and stop more nimble

Indeed, over and over again we seem to see the most innovative companies
eschewing the anti-competitive powers that patents give them. I was
reminded of this recently with the announcement that payments company
Square had agreed to put all of its crypto patents into a new non-profit
called the Crypto Open Patent Alliance to help fight off the unfortunate
number of crypto patent trolls that are showing up."

Via Glyn Moody.

        *** Xanni ***
mailto:xanni@xanadu.net               Andrew Pam
http://xanadu.com.au/                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu
https://glasswings.com.au/            Partner, Glass Wings
https://sericyb.com.au/               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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