July 08, 2003

The New Yorker on Business-Method Patents

The New Yorker has a clear, concise, nontechnical essay by its finance columnist James Surowiecki criticizing business-method patents: Patent Bending.

Although we have always had a vibrant patent system, we’ve managed to strike a balance between the need to encourage innovation and the need to foster competition. As Benjamin Day, Henry Ford, and Sam Walton might attest, American corporations have thrived on innovative ideas and new business methods, without owning them, for two centuries. In the past decade, the balance has been upset.

Makes the argument persuasively.

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