and… Speaking of the Innovation Gap…

From Techdirt… this image was captured at the Republican National Convention.

At the Republican Convention, Matt Yglesias catches a funny picture of an AT&T poster touting the company’s enthusiasm for the patent system. It reads: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of more patents. AT&T: Averaging 2 patent applications per day. Proudly connecting political supporters in Minneapolis.”


Photo by Matt Yglesias at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.

It’s interesting that AT&T is bragging about its pursuit of “more patents” rather than, say, more R&D spending or more innovation. AT&T isn’t exactly known for its record of high-tech innovation, so it’s a little surprising to see it hold itself out as a poster child for the patent system—particularly when we remember that AT&T and other telco incumbents have used the patent system to extort tens of millions of dollars from companies like Vonage that are actually innovating.


[From Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of More Patents?]

Aside from the “companies like Vonage that are actually innovating” bit Timothy gets it right. Patents are not innovation. They are a construct designed to protect innovation, but sadly have become a business model unto themselves.

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