The myth of the secretive inventor: most inventors choose to disclose their patents early
One common stereotype about inventors is that they all like to hold their cards close to their chests, hoping no one else snatches their brilliant idea before it comes to the market. But research suggests that most American patent-holders aren’t as concerned with secrecy as previously thought. “Do inventors really value the secrecy that economists assumed they did based on the prior literature? Our findings are that overwhelmingly, and in every category that we can test, inventors don’t,” said Stuart Graham, study co-author and assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business. In a study published in the journal Science, Graham and Deepak Hedge of New York University analyzed the applications of inventors filed after 2000, the first year when the American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) was passed into law. The federal law fundamentally changed many aspects of the patent application process in the United States.