So you think that China is behind in the innovation stakes? Think again. A recent article in The Economist indicates that more patents may be filed in China this year than in Japan for the first time, putting China in striking distance of America. Moreover, Chinese firms are forging into foreign markets. In 2008-09 Japanese geeks filed for 11% fewer “international patents” under the Patent Co-operation Treaty, while Chinese nerds filed 18% more, according to a recent report by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
I find this really interesting. Just two years ago a colleague spent significant time telling me how far behind China was in innovation, and how we would have to wait for the next generation to really drive innovation ahead.
Read the story here.
Patent systems are often justified by an assumption that innovation
will be spurred by the prospect of patent protection. However, little empirical evidence exists to support this
assumption. One way to test the hypothesis that a patent system promotes
innovation is to simulate the behavior of inventors and competitors
experimentally under conditions approximating patent and non-patent
systems. Employing a multi-user interactive simulation of patent and non-
patent (commons and open source) systems (―PatentSim‖), this studycompares rates of innovation, productivity, and societal utility. PatentSim
uses an abstracted and cumulative model of the invention process, a
database of potential innovations, an interactive interface that allows users
to invent, patent, or open source these innovations, and a network over
which users may interact with one another to license, assign, buy, infringe,
and enforce patents.
Data generated thus far using PatentSim suggest that a system combining patent and open source protection for inventions (that is, similar to modern patent systems) generates significantly lower rates of innovation (p<0.05), productivity (p<0.001), and societal utility (p<0.002) than does a commons system. These data also indicate that there is no statistical difference in innovation, productivity, or societal utility between a pure patent system and a system combining patent and open source protection. The results of this study are inconsistent with the orthodox justification for patent systems. However, they do accord well with evidence from the increasingly important field of user and open innovation. Read the study.