In the News
Innovation in the U.S. frequently fails to reward inventors. So-called patent trolls are evening the score.
Everybody talks about “intellectual property” all the time. It comes up in news about World Trade Organization piracy talks, in articles on cyberspying, in arguments over whether the Swiss can trademark the name of Swiss cheese the way the French control the name Champagne–and countless other places, every day. Why is intellectual property such an important–indeed critical–business topic?
Around the world today, most patents provide a monopoly for 20 years, with the clock starting on the date the application was filed. There are only a few exceptions. Because it takes so long to get regulatory OKs, drugmakers, for instance, are given extensions that take effect once their new products win approval.
Innography Ltd., an Austin firm that helps companies manage their patents, has raised $6.5 million in series A funding.
Xerox (XRX) PARC has come a long way. A generation ago, the Palo Alto Research Center famously developed many of the technologies that led to modern PCs from folks like Apple (AAPL) and Dell (DELL), but never got them beyond the lab. Today the unit is determined to get its inventions out of the lab, even if it means sacrificing secrecy.