Category Archives: Innovation

The National Patent Planning Commission argument for government-created private patent monopolies, 3

The National Patent Planning Commission quotes administration officials repeating this same argument. Here’s the Under Secretary of Agriculture (1941): The commercial exploitation of new inventions requires, in many cases, the expenditure of large sums of money. In such a case, … Continue reading

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The National Patent Planning Commission argument for government-created private patent monopolies, 2

We are looking at the National Patent Planning Commission argument that the government should be permitted to grant exclusive patent licenses on inventions that it acquires. The basic position is that it is a good thing that the government should … Continue reading

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The National Patent Planning Commission argument for government-created private patent monopolies, 1

I have been working through reports from the mid 1940s on government ownership of patents. There are a number of arguments against government exploitation of patents, but these arguments clearly failed. What arguments won out? Here’s one, from the National … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas!

Jane Jacobs observed that the purpose of economic life is us. Perhaps that goes as well for holidays–set aside for a moment the organized religion element, if you would–the purpose of Christmas, in a large sense, is us. The purpose … Continue reading

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Continued Employment as Consideration

Here is a nice article that worries whether continued employment is sufficient to create an enforceable obligation to assign inventions to an employer: “Is Continued Employment Enough to Uphold Invention Assignment Agreements?” The brief answer is, yes. Add the qualifications: … Continue reading

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Drift as a city’s economic driver

Some years ago, Jane Jacobs published a series of books that take up the issue of how cities contribute to regional and national economies. In particular, Jacobs argued that a particular kind of city behavior was crucial for a regional … Continue reading

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The laboratory and discovery

It’s a nice thought that faculty and students make their discoveries “in the lab” as a recent APLU infographic depicts. There certainly are discoveries made in laboratory work. But discoveries are also made out collecting samples, and in work shops, … Continue reading

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The Special Case Keeps Giving

Here is the special case university research invention. I have expanded it to show the logic. A special case invention is one that cannot be used without “development” and the “development” involves substantial effort at private expense and the “development” … Continue reading

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Key Concepts 1: Dual Monopoly

Dual Monopoly A dual monopoly approach to innovation management involves both a comprehensive institutional demand for ownership of inventive work and an institutional determination to convey monopolies in that work for private exploitation. The first monopoly is an institutional one. … Continue reading

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The banal myth of the necessary institutional monopoly

Louis Rosenfeld wrote an insightful article in Clinical Chemistry on the discovery of insulin “Insulin: Discovery and Controversy.” Three collaborators in the research had a disagreement over inventive contributions to various portions of the work and to settle their disputes gave … Continue reading

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