Friday, June 6, 2008

Open social innovation

The notion that innovation is beneficial to social welfare, and that users freely reveal the details of their innovations is often true, but clearly not new. Professor Joseph Henry generously revealed to Samuel Morse how his system of telegraph worked across the Princeton campus. Henry believed that people are better off if they share their new knowledge. Morse had his own best interests in mind when he secured the patent for what Henry had shown him. (See Electric Universe by David Bodanis, p. 22) Professor Eric von Hippel is right when he says that if the ‘new’ user driven innovation model is going to work, “the workings of the intellectual property system are of special concern”.
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