The Genie in the Machine

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-04-20
  • Publisher: Stanford Law & Politics

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We have long considered inventing to be a uniquely human activity. But just as the assembly line automated the process of manufacturing, today's computers are automating the process of inventing. Software can automatically generate designs for everything from toothbrushes to antennas to automobile frames more quickly and inexpensively than ever before, thereby ushering in a new era ofartificialinvention. Inventors will use artificial invention technology to boost their inventive abilities to previously undreamed-of heights, enabling small teams of inventors to compete with mega-corporations who insist on inventing the old-fashioned way. Even consumers will be able to use artificial invention technology to become inventors themselves. We stand poised to see the emergence of the "digital renaissance artisan"a person who will have the ability to not only design new inventions at the touch of a button, but also to manufacture them automatically from the comfort of home. As Robert Plotkin reveals in this landmark book, our decisions about these inventions today will dictate who gets to control this powerful technology tomorrow. Should inventions designed by software be patentable? Should the software that produces those designs be patentable?The Genie in the Machineoffers the first-ever examination of the implications of artificial invention technology for patent law, the law of invention. Along with practical advice for inventors, high-tech companies, and patent lawyers, this forward-looking book provides concrete recommendations for reforming patent law in light of the growing importance of invention-automation technology.

Author Biography

Robert Plotkin is a patent lawyer specializing in patent protection for computer technology, with an emphasis on software patents. His clients range from individual inventors to Fortune 50 companies. He is a Lecturer at the Boston University School of Law and has written and spoken internationally on patent protection for software, computer ethics, freedom of expression in software source code, and electronic privacy. He is the founder of Robert Plotkin, P.C. in Burlington, Massachusetts, which has been named a "Go-To Law Firm for Leading Technology Companies" by American Lawyer Media.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Coming Artificial Invention Agep. 1
Automating Invention
A Prehistory of Geniesp. 15
Enter the Universal Machinep. 29
The Rise of Wishesp. 37
Artificial Invention Todayp. 51
Invention Automation: Old and Newp. 62
Humans and Their Tools: Partners in Inventionp. 86
Regulating Genies
Patenting Artificial Inventionsp. 97
Follow the Valuep. 113
Free the Genie, Bottle the Wishp. 137
The Limits of Law in a World of Geniesp. 157
Living with Genies
Learning How to Wishp. 177
Competing with Geniesp. 191
Advising Aladdinp. 201
A Genie in Every Homep. 211
Acknowledgmentsp. 219
Notesp. 225
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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