For years, we've been pointing out that innovation is an ongoing process
rather than a distinct event. While this may sound somewhat obvious, when you combine this with the difference
between invention and innovation and the fact that innovation is often the more important
piece for overall progress, it's curious that our patent system is designed to protect that initial spark of invention -- at the cost of hurting
that ongoing process of innovation by making it more difficult and expensive. Business Week is now running an article that seems to recognize this, as it highlights the importance of the ongoing process of innovation
(though, it doesn't get into the question of patents and how they play into things). It does note that too many people are only focused on that burst of invention, rather than the process of innovation -- which is understandable, but problematic if we really want to encourage innovation. It's good to see a publication like Business Week highlight this important point, because as more people start to understand this, it's more likely that they'll understand the dangers of our current patent policy.