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APR 24TOP STORY
Patent Wars, a new kind of competition
Tech companies are taking different approaches when it comes to intellectual property.
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A visitor looks at Apple patents displayed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) headquarters in Geneva March 29, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse


Patents were developed to create more incentives for people to invest time and money in research and development, which in turn would advance technology.

However, some argue the current patent wars are limiting innovation as more and more money is spent on patent lawsuits instead of technological advancement.

Big companies are making large patent purchases. Google bought Motorola and its more than 17,000 mobile-related patents, and Facebook spent $550 million on patents from Microsoft to bolster its legal battle with Yahoo.

Twitter, on the other hand, announced the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, promising not to use patents in a way that harms innovation.

Are patents encouraging or hindering technological advancement?

In this episode, we speak to Jorge Contreras, law professor at American University; Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation; and Michael Kanellos, Vice President of Eastwick Blog.

What do you think? Do patent laws protect or harm innovators? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AJStream.
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