The Economist's I/P Survey
Companies cannot simply turn their back on what is happening in intellectual
property. Even if they refuse to play the game, they may be unwittingly
infringing someone else's patents because there are so many more of them around.
Unless firms have patents of their own to assert so they can reach a
cross-licensing agreement (often with money changing hands too), they will be in
trouble. Thus many companies are acquiring large numbers of patents for purely
defensive reasons, for use only to keep others' patent threats at bay.
This survey will argue that, despite some adjustment problems, the huge changes in intellectual property currently taking place in the IT sector will in time produce more efficient markets. But what do the IT firms themselves make of it all?