Innovating Between and Within Technological Paradigms: A Response to Samuelson
11 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2009 Last revised: 30 Jan 2010
Date Written: September 21, 2009
Drawing on Professor Samuelson’s article, “Are Interface Patents Impeding Interoperability,” this Response identifies situations where interface patents warrant regulatory intervention. It first notes that interfaces define “technological paradigms”: integrated systems of interoperability. It then argues that interface patents can provide incentives to invent valuable interfaces and encourage healthy competition between emerging technological paradigms. However, once an industry has coalesced around a single paradigm, the costs of strictly asserting interface patents likely outweigh their benefits. This Response argues that by considering industrial and informational developments over time, government and industry actors can calibrate policy interventions to maximize innovation both between and within technological paradigms.
Keywords: patents, interfaces, interoperability, paradigms, formats, platforms, software, information technology
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