Jonathan Langton


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Patent vs Copyright – A Question of Reinforcing Behaviour

A  common dilemma for managers is the risk of creating a company culture that reinforces negative behaviours, or fails to reward behaviours that they would like to encourage.  The classic example is the company that pays great lip-service to the importance of teamwork, yet apportions employee bonuses on the basis of individual performance.  This type of comparative reward scheme, that pits team members against each other, actually creates a disincentive for employees to collaborate and reduces teamwork.  Copyright and patents are two of the systems in place to reward, or protect, the more creative members of society and in that sense  they are similar, however they are not applied in the same context and operate quite differently.  Those differences then raise an interesting question – to whom does society offer more protection and which forms of creativity are better rewarded or valued? Continue reading