In the ole days, (c)opyright and pending patents served to protect ideas. Today, they mostly serve a patent law ecosystem.
Under veil of idea protection, copyright is used by corporations to create delay. Many inventors have been reluctant to pursue inventions in fear of battling the big boys – some of them left no choice but to sell off to powers that be. Often to find ideas dwindle, and die.
Some ideas find patented oposition in courtrooms, where part of the patent law ecosystem ploughs its trade.
As it turns out, quite an expensive trade.
Sometimes corporations need to fund these courtroom clashes. Bigger patents, more lawyers, longer delay. The whole makes me think back to premillenial cold-war arms race.
As there is no such thing as a rock solid patent, outcome of battle is uncertain & costly. In the end – settlements are made.
In essence, the patent system creates delay and cost. The patent ecosystems thrives.
Ever since the Copyright Term Extension Act, (aka Mickey Mouse Protection Act) things have taken a turn for the worse. Patent protection often outweighs value it is aiming to protect, which has given rise to nasty patent ecosystem side-effects (*).
However, times are changing. In the words of author Pam Anderson:
The ability to fulfill opportunities, is the domain of Business Visionaries. Like the people at Tesla – whose ability to drive the electrical car idea to doorsteps has trumped protection on offer by Patent Offices. Tesla embraced Open Source thinking, giving away all patented technology to all whom this might concern.
Well – not simply giving it away, rather handing it back:
… maybe Tesla took this road – simply to save Patent law cost? Maybe the message is solely aimed at followers & fan-base?
Industry opponents, as always, shrug and frown.
Patent ecosystem members frown and … shiver.
Imagine what the world could be like if just like Tesla, Software Vendors, Healthcare Giants, Engeneering Moguls, Entertainment Leaders or the Chemical industry would let go of patents and hand back knowledge to the very communities they came from?
(*) see also patent trolls.