Sunday, July 08, 2007

Business savvy vs. intellectual property

IPBiz notes the article Is Intellectual Property the Key to Success? by Jeffrey Tucker which begins:

One of the greatest tragedies of intellectual property law is how it generates intellectual confusion among successful businesspeople. Many are under the impression, even when it is not true, that they owe their wealth to copyrights, trademarks, and patents and not necessarily to their business savvy.

For this reason, they defend intellectual property as if it were the very lifeblood of their business operations. They fail to give primary credit where it is due: to their own ingenuity, willingness to take a risk, and their market-based activities generally. This is often an empirically incorrect judgment on their part, and it carries with it the tragedy of crediting the state for the accomplishments that are actually due to their own entrepreneurial activities.

There's a lot of confusion just in these two opening paragraphs. Patent law is about invention, not innovation. In the patent bargain, the PUBLIC gets disclosure of information and the INVENTOR gets a LEGAL RIGHT which enables him to make deals. Frequently, the INVENTOR is making a deal with the BUSINESSPERSON, as happened for example in the case of the Spencer rifle during the Civil War.


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