Friday Charts: Pain At the Pump and the Innovation Economy

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  1. Peter Leuenberger says:


    Thanks for all your articles, they are always useful and insightful. Your article today is great too, however I would be cautious about linking innovation with patent applications. Having been in the technology field for my entire career, I have a very low opinion of the patent system, to the point that the conclusion of the chart is actually opposite. Most patents today are applied for ideas that exist already, or obvious ideas. Patents on DVR are a good example, the concept was already invented with the VCR, but no, the patent office thought the DVR was innovation and today, high fees are paid out to different patent holders even though all they did is hire engineers that applied what they learned. What this means is that whenever we have an idea, we have to go check it against all the patents in the world and its a minefield. So instead of developing the product without worrying about prior patents, we don’t developt them and hence, do not provide customers with better products.

    If you are a true inventor, be one like Steve Jobs, go all the way and make it available for everyone, in a way that no one can compete. That’s innovation. Anyone educated enough can come up with most ideas that are patented today.

    This situation is worst in the USA, so because of it, american companies will be less successful worldwide, as they can’t come up with new products for their home market.

    Best regards,


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