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PROTECTING PATENT RIGHTS IN COLLABORATIVE INVENTING

 

            The tidal wave of online usage of social networks has spilled over into collaborative business networks.  Social networks such as Facebook are being used to create and market new ideas and innovations using social networking webpages.  Collaborative innovation networks have sprung up as online communities of like-minded people who choose to work together on innovation projects.  The speedup in investor expectation for startups to get to market using online development and product marketing tools has also given rise to online funding networks known as crowdsourcing.  For example, Kickstarter allows users to post project funding proposals on its website to vie for online (crowd) funding.  But what happens to patent (i.e., invention) rights in collaborative inventing?  A brief outline of some of the perils and pitfalls of this phenomenon and recommendations for protecting patent rights follows.  More ...

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