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iPad Patents Considered Harmful April 12, 2010

Posted by Andre Vellino in Open Source, User Interface.

This recent review of the iPad in the Globe and Mail hits the nail on the head:

The iPad isn’t so much a computer as a delivery device, and there’s only one supplier.

Which makes perfect business sense. But I don’t think that having a monopoly over content-delivery stimulates technological innovation.

The fundamental problem is that patented, proprietary technology can’t “evolve” (in the Darwinian sense). Because of patents, there can be no process of “variation” on the initial idea and no process of natural selection on the outcome.  Instead, progress needs to be made with discontinuities.

My artist friends and I are looking forward to a computer screen that can be written on like paper.  It’s coming soon – Wacom has one already for $2000 – if not for the iPad then perhaps the JooJoo.


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