At dinner last night (an event to celebrate various research awards won by people at UQ) I was talking with an engineering professor about the question of how to promote innovation without reliance on patents and forms of monopoly rights (usually referred to as intellectual ‘property’). One solution is to offer prizes for valuable discoveries. This is a nice idea, but there are lot of practical problems in setup and administration. Nicholas Gruen has an interesting startup, aiming to simplify this process. Read about it here.
fn1. This doesn’t rule out IP, but it offers a potential alternative.