A Misunderstanding

At Patent Docs, Harold Wegner, a partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner, says that the popular idea that patenting "preempts follow-on research" and inhibits innovation is wrong and based on a flawed understanding of what patents are for. "A central axiom of any patent system is that the public has an immediate right on publication of a patent to experiment on newly patented technology," Wegner says. "This is precisely to encourage follow-on innovation.

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