Sign in to follow this  
supercaffeinated

Intellectual property... holding us back or driving ahead?

Recommended Posts

I was wondering why Serial ATA was invented when Fibre Channel already exists. Sure, FC has features like a 10Km range and a max standard bandwidth of 100Mbytes/sec which are overkill/underkill for desktops, but it seems to me that...... intellectual property rights can sometimes prevent people from re-using existing technology.

Consider what new technolgies might exist if folks hadn't wasted their time re-inventing the wheel just to get around IP issues.

On the other hand, consider that technologies wouldn't exist because the people with the great ideas weren't so highly rewarded for their efforts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like most things I would say that we are currently somewhere in-between. Some IP is holding us back, while the original reason IP laws were written still hold relatively true.

For example, IP helps make companies like Intel willing to move forward with technology -- if they develop something new and better, they are the sole suppliers, and can hence get a good ROI.

At the same time, companies can use IP to browbeat their competition, like Intel has against Via in the motherboard market.

I would say that, insofar as IP is helping a company protect an investment against theft, etc., it is a Good Thing. Insofar as it is used as an anti-competitive tool, it is a Bad Thing. The problem is that the line between the two can be hazy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.Do you really believe great inventions are the result of intellectual property?

2.Do you really believe people wouldn't improve their products without IP?

1. IMO great ideas come. They can't be forced. This is not to be confused with gradual development. That can indeed be bought. And that leads us to 2.

2. I would state the contrary. IP slows the improvement. Why improve when noone is allowed to use "my ideas" or at least has to pay? Without IP the companies would be forced to be really innovative. They would be forced to always improve - and not rest on the achieved, in order to be market leader.

IMO there need to be some sort of IP. But it has gone to far. IP for algorithms? For implementations of algorithms? For DNA (the most ridiculous thing ever IMHO)? and so on..

IP for 40, 50 years?

That is not for progress. That is for stillstand. For what most firms would like.

cya

ralf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ralf, I'm not sure that our two posts necessarily disagree. IP, in its present form, isn't terribly effective and probably on the whole holds back more than encourages.

But as you said, some form of IP is needed. It's no secret that corporations spend very large sums of money on R&D. These are all the "small improvements" to technology that keep it moving forward -- if you think about it, the "big ideas" rarely move technology forward -- they show where technology will go, but the corps with R&D are the ones who implement the tech and bring it to market. For them to spend money on that, there must be a proven ROI, and given the massive sums that can be spent, that is warrants some protection for their research.

However, protection for 50 years in the tech market is just ridiculous. Nothing proprietary is important for that long. So, a far shorter sunset period on IP. If IP expires within, say, 8 years (arbitrary number), companies will have a protection for their investments, along with a guaranty that to continue to lead the market, they will have to produce new tech, as their competitors can eat them up after 8 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1.Do you really believe great inventions are the result of intellectual property? 

2.Do you really believe people wouldn't improve their products without IP?

1. IMO great ideas come. They can't be forced. This is not to be confused with gradual development. That can indeed be bought.

Ideas are inspiration. This can be characterized by a eureka moment. Inventions are usually very different, requiring long hours of work to smooth out the kinks.

Thomas Edison said, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this