Category Archives: Innovation

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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There are no Bayh-Doles in Canada

In a recent hearing held by the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, made some valuable remarks, which he has published at his blog. Geist … Continue reading

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The Bush Engine of Technology Innovation

Vannevar Bush argued that it was a proper role for the federal government to support scientific research. This proposition today is regarded as a truth that hardly needs justification. But in Science the Endless Frontier, Bush was not arguing for … Continue reading

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