Introducing Creative Patents
“Creative Patents democratize technology ownership. Instead of patents that enforce an exclusive owner, Creative Patents irreversibly make technology available to all mankind, thus rendering proprietary patents obsolete. To accelerate collaboration, inventors can store their technology blueprints on a decentralized ledger anyone can access. Anyone can ‘fork’ or ‘clone’ a Creative Patent — like a GitHub of things — and pursue the commercial application, without permission.”
We all want recognition for our ideas. And we want to be rewarded for our inventions. But our fear that others will run off with them paralyzes collaboration and stifles progress. Inventors too often work in secret solitude because they do not want to share a potential Nobel Prize with hawking competitors. Big business wastes billions of dollars in court battles over patent disputes, while they could have spent the same money on innovation.
We fight too much, but we invent too little. What inventors need is a new incentive for innovation, one that abandons the paradigm of modern patent law in favor of the open-source paradigm. Creative Patents make technology available to the public domain.
A Paradigm Shift
Patents monopolize technology and offer inventors the exclusive right to exploit their innovations. But inventors can’t defend their inventions against patent trolls that have deep pockets. Therefore, inventors may lose the incentive to innovate. Even big corporations such as Apple and Samsung wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on futile court battles.
The once well-intended patent paradigm to protect the fruits of one’s labor now sacrifices the progress of the many for the benefit of the few. Creative Patents offers inventors an alternative incentive: provide access to a decentralized library of open-source technology, pool innovative efforts and accelerate time-to-market. In the future, innovation will be a global collaborative effort.
Creative Patents make it less attractive to hide technology in closed silos. Currently, inventors who work for corporations, universities, governments or even armies often cannot collaborate. They find themselves reinventing the wheel, a most wasteful enterprise. Instead, Creative Patents channel such wasted effort towards accelerated innovation.
The scenario may play out as follows. First, individual inventors will each make small contributions. Over time, small businesses will up their competitive edge by embracing the Creative Patents library. At this point, even corporations and universities will be forced to share technology because doing so gives them an advantage over those who do not — natural selection all over again. Ultimately, Creative Patents help promote the Open-Source Everything revolution.
Bitcoin 3.0 — Decentralize Everything
By decentralizing patent ownership, Creative Patents pave the way for collaborative innovation at an exponential rate. Inventors can make their inventions available to the public domain at near-zero cost, and nobody can prevent them from doing so. Initially, Creative Patents will build a layer on top of the secure Bitcoin blockchain, or similar decentralized ledgers.
Creative Patents will do for technology what GitHub did for the code. Similar to open-source software, Creative Patents can be versioned, branched and forked. Inventors can invite others to help improve their ideas. Contributors from all over the world can provide patches, improve manuals or branch off into a new direction.
Organizations that embrace Creative Patents will have unlimited access to the world’s fastest-growing pool open-source technology. This will reduce both the cost of in-house innovation and time-to-market for new applications because worldwide stakeholders ‘share the wheel’ rather than reinvent it. We aim to accelerate technological innovation and pave the way for a Type 1 civilization, which makes full use of all of its resources, and stimulate organizations to achieve exponential growth.
But Creative Patents must first overcome an important hurdle, namely that international courts recognize Creative Patents. For inspiration, we will look to Creative Commons, the open copyright license platform.
Nicholas Tim, “Are Patents Creative or Destructive?: Working Paper,” Harvard Business School, 2013, 2, http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/14-036_88022f59-a293-4a6f-b643-b205304bce91.pdf.
Robert D. Steele, The Open Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust, 1st ed. (North Atlantic Books, 2012).
Tim, “Are Patents Creative or Destructive?: Working Paper,” 3.
Ismail Salim, Michael S. Malone, and Youri Van Geest, Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper than Yours (and What to Do about It), 1st ed. (Diversion Publishing, 2014).