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Do Patents Encourage or Hinder Innovation? The Case of the Steam Engine
| Boulton and Watt had a patent on the separate condensor from 1769 to 1800,
| with almost absolute control on the development of the steam engine. During
| the later period, the inventors declined to patent their inventions, and
| there was greater innovation. The beneficiary? Everyone who used a steam
| engine, or bought products produced by a steam engine.
Bill Gates, top Microsoft executives do some of their inventing on the side
,----[ Quote ]
| Bill Gates and several of Microsoft’s top technologists are credited as
| inventors in eight newly disclosed U.S. patent applications. That isn’t a
| surprise. But here’s where it starts to get unusual: The applications weren’t
| made on Microsoft’s behalf.
| Here's what we know: An entity called Searete LLC applied for the patents.
| Searete is part of Intellectual Ventures LLC, the Bellevue-based invention
| house run by Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s former chief technology officer.
| Myhrvold’s company has stirred controversy with its large patent hoard.
Top Microsoft Execs Moonlighting For a Patent Bully
,----[ Quote ]
| "TechFlash reports that Microsoft bigwigs like Craig Mundie and Bill Gates
| (when he still worked there) have been secretly moonlighting at Intellectual
| Ventures (IV), the 'patent extortion fund' run by Bill's pal Nathan Myhrvold.
| A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that its technologists have been sitting in
| on IV-sponsored 'innovation sessions,' where their pearls of wisdom were
| captured and turned into patent applications for Searete, an IV shadow
| corporate entity. And if all goes well, Searete will soon enjoy exclusive
| rights to the fruit of the brainstorming, which includes processes ranging
| from determining and rewarding 'influencers' to treating malaria, HIV, TB,
| hepatitis, smallpox, and cancer."
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