Monday, November 29, 2010

True Inventors

Ownership is a complex concept that deserves considerable thought. Whole professional industries have proliferated in the United States to sort out the complexity. Sometimes for the better and others, not so much.

Possession is nine tenths of the law. But an idea, a well thought out idea is perhaps the most valuable of 'possessions'.  Why? Because human success is largely derived from the adaptable nature of humans as applied to various desirable and changing elements in the human environment.

And yet 'ownership' of ideas is not so easy to control. Few would argue with the concept of creator(s) as first owner. It is not difficult to identify first owners - the concept of priority date. But ideas are subject to humans extraordinary ability to communicate. Distribution can be hard to control (in the possession sense).

Enter the ownership changers, the ones with power usually in the form of 'big' money and its equivalents. An attractive source of revenue (the money is reliably collectable), professionals notoriously favor being close to the deep pockets rather than true owners of idea value because they cannot or will not assume the risk of indeterminate future value.

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