11/17/2004

The Need to Create

A MSNBC article entitled "An Insatiable Hunger to Create, Create, Create" reports that over 300,000 patent applications were registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2003. During that same year almost 200,000 previously filed applications were granted patents. These numbers more than double the numbers for 15 years ago. Seventy-five percent of patents get their start in corporate Research and Development labs. This makes sense since corporations need new products to make a profit in monopolistic competition. They are even reaching out to "independent inventors" to help them come up with new products.

The race for the next "big idea" continues at full-throttle, and I'm excited to see what new things will be offered in the future, things we can't even imagine right now.

4 comments:

Janet said...

Technolgy is the big thing these days. We know what we want to see or have. Our ideas just need to be put into action. I think there will be a next "big idea" as well because technology in the past 2 decades has changed peoples lives. Imagine what else we could have in our homes!

Kova said...

I think it is great that so many patents are being given out. The ability for a person or corporation to obtain a patent and there for secure rights/profits to a product can be a great motivator. I think there would be a lot less R&D going on if patents were not established. There would be no reason to create new products if those products could be freely copied. It's all about the incentives!

Maudi said...

The race to create is a good thing. Americans today are a much different society than they were 50 Years ago. Instead of running equiptment and doing manual labor we have become the designers and formen of those who run the equiptment. There is however a problem because those people that are uneducated or do not believe in educating themselves are finding themselves competing for jobs that can be done at a much lower cost overseas. Thus it is imparative if we want to make what we are worth as Americans we have to hone our managment and creating skills not our manual labor skills.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 for spelling mistakes in Kova's and Maudi's comments.

The creation of new ideas is the prime source of economic growth, which in turn is the major determinant of your quality of life.

But, I don't think this is a "hunger". We live in a society in which the creation of new ideas is rewarded. Therefore it occurs. It's pretty basic economics. Think of all the great innovations coming to us from countries without basic freedoms ... keep thinking ... OK, you can stop wasting your time.

BTW: did you know that because of knowledge spillovers that the rates of return to society from new ideas are far higher than the rates of return to the inventors (so our patent system could be a lot more generous).