Attn Techno-geeks: Innovation is dying...


Jan 7, 2002
futurologists say technology is developing at exponential rates. Moore's law, for example, foresaw chip densities (for which read speed and memory capacity) doubling every 18 months. And the chip makers have lived up to its predictions. Building on this, the less well-known Kurzweil's law says that these faster, smarter chips are leading to even faster growth in the power of computers. Developments in genome sequencing and nanoscale machinery are racing ahead too, and internet connectivity and telecommunications bandwith are growing even faster than computer power, catalysing still further waves of innovation.

Rather than growing exponentially, or even keeping pace with population growth, they peaked in 1873 and have been declining ever since (see Graphs). Next, he examined the number of patents granted in the US from 1790 to the present. When he plotted the number of US patents granted per decade divided by the country's population, he found the graph peaked in 1915.

The period between 1873 and 1915 was certainly an innovative one. For instance, it included the major patent-producing years of America's greatest inventor, Thomas Edison (1847-1931). Edison patented more than 1000 inventions, including the incandescent bulb, electricity generation and distribution grids, movie cameras and the phonograph.


Platinum Member
May 21, 2001
Maybe it has to do with less BS patents being filed today since file for a patent has become quite expensive.



Platinum Member
Apr 10, 2001
The world is a patent minefield. Why bother trying to innovate something just to be taken to court for infringing on an overly-broad or vague patent granted 15 years ago? I've filed 2 patents with my current employer and both times our patent attorneys and internal patent review committee (these guys evaluate a patent idea before the lawyers get involved) pushed to expand the scope of the proposed idea so that they covered far more than I originally intended. That's good for a company's IP portfolio but it's bad for innovation by others.