Typically society breeds off the value of ownership. Patents are based off of this. Watching shows like Dragon's Den, Shark's Tank, the word patent becomes a very powerful thing. Owning a patent means owning your creation, patents are proof you are the first out of the world to invent / develop / produce something original. Bah! EXCITING! (Yes I know those were not actually sentences) But we're living century number 21 and this inherent attitude is passe. I'm talking Open Source. It's not a new concept, and the proverbial saying of "two heads are better than one" comes to mind. When it comes to design, it's today's truth. Outsourcing, collaborations, the round table just a few methods of how single entity designers are a falsehood. The complexity of today's world hampers one person's ability to act alone. The problems of today's world involves extraordinary solutions that one perspective is inadequate. At my dream firm, IDEO, they are hired by exterior companies to design new innovations. There you will not find just "designers" but brand strategists, interaction designers, graphic designers, engineers. Honestly what do they do with all these people?! Everyone comes to the table from different backgrounds creating a huge design stew of potential. If you think about it, it's like multiplying possibilities. And while there is no correct solution to design, with more possibilities some of those solutions will rise, eventually producing creme de la creme of design.
But there is more against the wall of patents. The internet is opening the doors even wider. Remember Napster? The music industry has never been the same since. But let's skip over the boring history, we all lived through it, even you 90's babies. Today the internet gives bands a platform to produce and spread their music to people worldwide. No longer are you tied to what is on the radio, or the nearby pub. Bah! EXCITING! I admit my cheap Asian side is what caused me to download the Weeknd's album, but I will swear by them, and am a loyal fan now. I have a Soundcloud addiction, purely because it is the baby of internet/creativity/music/opensource.
So when all this defies the value of a patent, one questions where is the value? If ideas/albums/software/tv is available for free what does that actually leave us? Answer can be found in the analogy of the goose and the golden egg. Without being graphic, ideas are eggs, and I'm a goose. My value is not in the end result, but the potential for me to continually produce more. When making this blog, there is a bit of fear, if I publish something great on this internet, and someone not me reaps the benefit of my idea what am I left with? The fact is design is not a one off thing, my ability means that I have the potential to produce more.
(I know I've been heavy on the words lately, so with that I apologize and end with my current favorite song.)
You Da One REMIX (Produced by the ROCK-IT! SCIENTISTS)