What’s the Best Use for IP?

Nina Paley has a great series of comics that look at Intellectual Property issues. Here is one of them:

The strips make some good points about IP. This one in particular is interesting – it addresses an increasingly common problem. Patents were originally designed to help knowledge spread – by encouraging inventors to disclose their ideas in exchange for a limited monopoly, patents enabled others to build on these ideas and therefore generate further innovation.

However, if IP management is simply used as a method for storing ideas away, or, even worse, preventing others from using them, then this purpose is not being served. We’ve gotten to the point where patent trolls are even taking out patents on patent trolling, which is a bit absurd!

That is why we place such a strong emphasis on executing ideas here. It is much more interesting (and much more fun!) to execute ideas than it is to sit on them. It’s also riskier, and more prone to failure – but that’s part of the excitement.

Using IP as the foundation of an open innovation strategy is one way to ensure that most of your great ideas make it out into the world. And that’s really the point of having great ideas, isn’t it?

Student and teacher of innovation - University of Queensland Business School - links to academic papers, twitter, and so on can be found here.

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