Saturday, December 13, 2008

"How to invent"

Gregory T. Huang of XConomy has a post: How To Invent: Tips from Patrick Ennis of Intellectual Ventures .

A baseline was set:

But first, Ennis gave me a little taste of how invention sessions work at the firm. He was fiddling with the Saran Wrap on his sandwich, wondering about its material properties and how they might relate to thin-film coatings for medical stents, say. “Inventors see inventions everywhere,” he says. “Invention is not taught, except for kids. When you’re a little kid on the playground, you’re allowed to do this. But as an adult, this would be viewed as weird—’this person is not focused.’ But that’s what inventors do.”

But then We’d quickly get a number for how much Saran Wrap is sold around the world…. IPBiz suggests asking Chester Carlson if he thought that way.

There was the usual stuff about patent litigation: “Everyone’s whining about there’s too many patent lawsuits, which isn’t true if you look at the numbers,” he says. “You can make a case that stealing someone’s intellectual property is a really bad thing. A lot of patents, people didn’t know they were infringing. Part of the reason they don’t know they were infringing is they’re told not to look. When I was at AT&T in the old days, you were taught as an engineer not to look. Of course, there is more recent advocacy of "Don't look"; ask Torvalds. See also the recent push at Stanford on the patent litigation database.


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