Patenten? De grootste en rijkste techbedrijven geven er nauwelijks meer om.
How important is intellectual property in the digital age? Not very, if the business strategies of industry luminaries like PayPal’s Elon Musk and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are any indication.
Musk, the multi-talented entrepreneur behind PayPal, and more recently Tesla cars and SpaceX, has made it clear he considers Tesla’s impressive lead in battery and electric engine technology to be of secondary importance. So much so that he made Tesla’s digital platform openly available to outside parties — a move that stunned other car manufacturers.
The creator of Facebook, for his part, has openly published the results of his company’s research for years. Zuckerberg has said on numerous occasions that to become profitable, research and development should be shared as widely as possible. The same goes for the large number of digital companies that provide open access to the fruits of their research.
The question here is whether we’re entering a new era in which the rules have been dramatically changed and the company strategies of the 20th century are no longer comparatively effective. Several clues seem to suggest that is the case.
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