The Economist On Apple Innovations: Not Inventive, Just Innovative

from the how-you-put-it-all-together dept

We've suggested in the past that Apple's iPhone perfect demonstrates the difference between invention and innovation (i.e., there's nothing really "new" in the iPhone, but what's impressive is how Apple packaged all of it in a way that consumers find appealing). The Economist has picked up on this, apparently, with a cover story on how Apple innovates, where it notes that Apple isn't particularly inventive, but knows how to package up a bunch of outside inventions and make them useful. This is important, since so many discussions around innovation tend to confuse innovation and invention, and it can greatly distort policy debates when you think that the two are the same (or even that one is a proxy for the other). With that in mind, it's nice to see the Economist highlight the difference at Apple.

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  1. identicon
    BillDivX, 12 Jun 2007 @ 10:14am

    Defining discussion for patent?

    It seems like this is the chink in the patent armor. We've shifted to a system which is so lax that it allows INNOVATION to receive a patent. Maybe what we want to do is say that only INVENTION, not innovation, is worthy of a patent. Obviously there are some sticking points in drawing that line clearly in a legal sense, but it does bring up the point, that the most common of the frivolous patent seems to be patenting the "idea" of shoving together two random things. I.e., the camera phone. Or one-click (which is basically a combination of an online store and the pre-existing quick-checkout concept).

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