Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to protect intellectual property without patents

Interesting review of a book arguing that we don't need patents and copyright anymore. Instead R&D managers obtain competitive advantage from their discoveries by using

  1. lead time (suggesting a first-mover advantage),
  2. secrecy,
  3. complementary manufacturing capabilities
  4. complementary sales and service efforts.

Averaged over all industries, patents and other legal mechanisms are near the bottom of the list of ways to protect intellectual property.


  1. My mind went directly to AAPL !

  2. This works well for patent protection but rather poorly for copyright protection.