Are you familiar with the ISBN? A unique identifier issued by the U.S. Government to identify books? Did you know that the U.S. Government has granted a private company %26lt;a href="https://www.myidentifiers.com/"%26gt;Bowker%26lt;/a%26gt; a monopoly over issuing them? They are very proud of it...as if it is a good thing!
Do we want to innovate our way out of crisis? How about government getting out of the way of innovators? Real innovators and small businesses are obstructed not helped by patents. Don't listen to me. Listen to %26lt;a href="http://news.yahoo.com/mark-cuban-unloads-american-patent-system-says-bad-214849835.html"%26gt;someone in business%26lt;/a%26gt;.
If you read this blog you must have an internet connection, so presumably have heard of 3D printing. It is a very disruptive technology with potential to change manufacturing in a variety of ways - and indeed even things such as medicine. I recently had some correspondence with Joshua Pearce whose engineering group is working on materials for use in 3D printing. He is concerned about a patent arms race in this area being drag on innovation. He is looking at creative ways to preempt some of the patent nonsense.Joshua has also been active in nanotechnology, another important areas of innovation. His %26lt;a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7425/full/491519a.html"%26gt;article in Nature%26lt;/a%26gt; highlights how patents are helping to obstruct rather than help progress - again with innovative ideas for an open source model for key building blocks that will enhance rather than hinder innovation.It is not a tribute to our system that genuine innovators have to spend their time trying to figure out how to avoid the hindrance of patents rather than devoting their effort to innovation.