The Genie in the Machine: How Computer-automated Inventing is Revolutionizing Law and Business

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Stanford University Press, 2009 - Law - 270 pages
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We have long considered inventing to be a uniquely human activity. But just as the assembly line automated the process of manufacturing, today's computers are automating the process of inventing. Software can automatically generate designs for everything from toothbrushes to antennas to automobile frames more quickly and inexpensively than ever before, thereby ushering in a new era of artificial invention.

Inventors will use artificial invention technology to boost their inventive abilities to previously undreamed-of heights, enabling small teams of inventors to compete with mega-corporations who insist on inventing the old-fashioned way. Even consumers will be able to use artificial invention technology to become inventors themselves. We stand poised to see the emergence of the "digital renaissance artisan"—a person who will have the ability to not only design new inventions at the touch of a button, but also to manufacture them automatically from the comfort of home. As Robert Plotkin reveals in this landmark book, our decisions about these inventions today will dictate who gets to control this powerful technology tomorrow.

Should inventions designed by software be patentable? Should the software that produces those designs be patentable? The Genie in the Machine offers the first-ever examination of the implications of artificial invention technology for patent law, the law of invention. Along with practical advice for inventors, high-tech companies, and patent lawyers, this forward-looking book provides concrete recommendations for reforming patent law in light of the growing importance of invention-automation technology.
  

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The Genie in the Machine: How Computer-Automated Inventing Is Revolutionizing Law and Business (Stanford Law Books)

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There is little argument that invention spurs innovation, competition, and economic growth. With technology today, however, inventors can simply input a problem (a "wish") into a program and have the ... Read full review

Contents

The Coming Artificial Invention Age
1
A Prehistory of Genies
15
Enter the Universal Machine
29
The Rise of Wishes
37
Artificial Invention Today
51
Invention Automation Old and New
62
Humans and Their Tools Partners in Invention
86
Patenting Artificial Inventions
97
The Limits of Law in a World of Genies
157
Learning How to Wish
177
Competing with Genies
191
Advising Aladdin
201
A Genie in Every Home
211
Acknowledgments
219
Notes
225
Index
263

Follow the Value
113
Free the Genie Bottle the Wish
137

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About the author (2009)

Robert Plotkin is a patent lawyer specializing in patent protection for computer technology, with an emphasis on software patents. His clients range from individual inventors to Fortune 50 companies. He is a Lecturer at the Boston University School of Law and has written and spoken internationally on patent protection for software, computer ethics, freedom of expression in software source code, and electronic privacy. He is the founder of Robert Plotkin, P.C. in Burlington, Massachusetts, which has been named a "Go-To Law Firm for Leading Technology Companies" by American Lawyer Media.

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