By Dennis Crouch
Mike Masnick at techdirt highlights an interesting new academic study by article by a group of international economists. The paper examines winners of the R&D 100 award published annually by R&D Magazine. The interesting finding is that only 10% of award winning & breakthrough innovations from 1977-2004 were actually patented. If these results are accurate then they potentially offer a major indictment of the patent system & its failure to be the driving force in encouraging breakthrough innovation.
Read the paper here:
- Masnick's article here: http://www.techdirt.com/blog/innovation/articles/20130502/10513922919/over-90-most-innovative-products-past-few-decades-were-not-patented.shtml
[Update] I suspect that the authors did not do a great job of searching for the relevant patents. For a sanity-check, I just looked up the first three innovations in the 2004 awards and then found pre-2004 patents owned by the innovative company that seemingly relate directly to the innovation being championed.