Way Better Intellectual Property Book Club
The Reading List is our list of good reads about intellectual property, books to recommend when someone asks about innovation, invention, inventors and IP. Insight, Strategy, Policy and Thought Leadership, Tools, Technical Resources and Interesting Reads on Inventions, Inventors and Innovation. Fiction and Books for Nerds, Geeks, and Patent Cognoscenti. The list includes some prior art hidden treasures. If you'd like to add to the reading list, please send us your good reads.
Reads for 2015
The Antidote: Inside the World of New Pharma by Barry Werth — How the rugged world of drug innovation really works.
Biology Is Technology by Robert H. Carlson — A crash course on the impact bioengineering and the biobrick will have on the world around you, this is the book for you.
The Innovators by Walter Isaacson — The story of the emergence of the digital revolution and the inventors, known and not so well known, who made it possible.
Inventions That Didn't Change the World by Julie Halls — A look at invention in the Victorian era. Mechanical arts enthusiasts and innovation historians will like this one as will anyone who respects the hard work of independent inventors.
Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram — The biography of America's storied fighter pilot and strategist and the father of the F-15 and F-16 and the advocate of simpler design. Insight into how innovation really happens.
Boom Towns — Restoring the Urban American Dream by Stephen Walters — Growth and innovation is all about the property rights which is why we have patents. This takes a look at property rights and economic growth on the scale of great American cities. For those who seek to understand how growth and new innovation emerge in our cities, read this one.
Flash Boys by Michael Lewis — Great writing, the story of high frequency trading and how one guy on Wall Street figured out what was going on. For the IP strategists this is also a cautionary tale on how the honorable competition can use social media oversharing by key employees as a pathway to unearthing trade secrets.
Insight, Strategy, and Policy
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters — The musings of one of America's best known entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on the need for and benefits of exponential new invention versus the incrementalism of today's innovations and business models. Mr. Thiel, one of the founders of PayPal, and funders of Facebook and all ventures Elon Musk knows of what he speaks.
Edison and the Rise of Innovation by Leonard DeGraaf — A must read on one of America's most prolific inventors who used patents to fund his operations, build his brand, and from time to time, enaged in savvy patent monetization activity for things he chose not to make. A must read for everyone who thinks patent trollery is a new invention.
The Cure is in the Code – How 20th Century Law is Undermining 21st Century Medicine by Peter Huber — 21st century molecular biology and biochemistry are helping create amazing new medicine, unfortunately much of the world of medicine and pharma law is still in the last century. Read this one. Understanding the informationization of medicine might just save a life.
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb — Invention isn't disordered. Mr. Taleb's commentary on innovation and cooking provide interesting food for thought on what is new and what isn't.
On the Map by Simon Garfield — A look at cartography and the use of maps with today's technological advancements. An accessible and readable look at the science of maps.
The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen — A classic on the impact of disruptive technology and change.
Tubes — A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum — A tour of the physical internet, its colorful cables, places and people. Explore the resources that make those patented business methods inventions possible.
Culturematic: How Reality TV, John Cheever, a Pie Lab, Julia Child, Fantasy Football . . . Will Help You Create and Execute Breakthrough Ideas by Grant McCracken — "Culturematics..create innovation. For Culturematics, there is no important difference between the personal projects and the corporate..between things that are useful and things that are artistic. Both begin as an inkling, a stirring suspicion that the present order of things is not the inevitable order of things, that there is something else out there. This is what the Culturematic is for, exploring a suspicion." A new millenium view on innovation and how it happens, hunches and explorations from all over the place.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson — Inventor, genius, agent of change.
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean — A book for those of us who just couldn't get the periodic table until now.
Intellectual Property: The Tough New Realities That Could Make or Break Your Business by Paul Goldstein — Stuff you need to know presented without the patent mumbo jumbo.
Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee — How technology is changing the way we work, think about and create businesses.
Inside the Patent Factory: The Essential Reference for Effective and Efficient Management of Patent Creation by Donal O'Connell — A look inside Nokia's IP operations and advice for practitioners.
The Grid Lock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives by Michael Heller — Patent thickets, the tragedy of the commons, and hard issues in intellectual property and the politics of ownership.
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick — A roadmap to the evolution of the information age we live in and the information inventions that got us here. An important book to read if you want to understand the impact of the informationization of inventions.
Burning the Ships: Intellectual Property and the Transformation of Microsoft by Marshall Phelps and David Kline — A kinder gentler Microsoft on the road to patent royalties in the open source software universe. If you're in the IT business this may make your head explode but you should read it anyway.
Lessons: An Autobiography by An Wang — Dr. Wang sold his patent for core memory to IBM to fund WANG Laboratories and set off an inventive juggernaut. Like other great inventors he started as a non-practicing entity and went on to build one of the largest "practicing entities" of the 1980s.
Technologies of Freedom by Ithiel de Sola Pool — A seminal look at how digital technology supports individual freedom and vice versa. A primer on many of the issues in the Access to Knowledge (A2K) movement. Hard to find but worth the hunt.
Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property edited by Gaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski — A discussion of how intellectual property and access to knowledge collide, intersect, and compete.
Brave New Words by Jeff Prucher and Gene Wolfe — Words created in science fiction and how they've wound their way into our vocabulary and culture. (Sci-Fi Geek Alert)
Tools for New Business Models and Commercialization
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot — The story of a woman who affected all of our lives and an uncomfortable look at the world of R&D and commercialization at leading scientific organizations.
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne — A new way to think about commercialization, new markets, and uncontested market space. Kind of like when R&D organizations talk about exploiting the white space in the patent landscape.
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson — New business models in the internet age.
Tools, Technical Resources, and Interesting Books on Invention and Innovation
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur — One of the chinks in the innovation continuum is the execution of good commercialization strategies that turn patents into products. Business Model Generation gives readers a way to think about what it is they are selling, who is going to buy it and what the value proposition is. Technology transfer pros and innovation entrepreneurs will find this an easy to use tool to refine and develop real commercialization plans.
Patent It Yourself: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Filing at the U.S. Patent Office by David Pressman — The handbook to turn to when you are tired of mousing around the USPTO web site or in need of relief from patent attorney speak on how to get a patent. There are some issues in the latest version like the statement that USPTO have 1,000 patent examiners but this book remains a solid guide to the patent application process.
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay and Neil Ardley — A panacea of explanations and a favorite style among patent litigators for making complex concepts understandable.
McIlhenny's Gold: How a Louisiana Family Built the Tabasco Empire by Jeffrey Rothfeder — The tale of Tabasco sauce with a little patent information about what happens when an extra ingredient is added to the mix.
1001 Inventions That Changed the World by Jack Challoner — A chronological presentation of the world's great inventions.
Books for Patent Pros (and Aspiring Patent Pros)
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte — Food for the PatStat Soul. Learn how to build compelling displays of quantitiative data about innovations so your users can understand what it all means.
Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte — Design strategies for complex information. No need for infographics with cartoons.
Visual Explanations by Edward Tufte — Using the concepts taught here, patent drawings might be more enlightened.
Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte — Finishing up the Tufte quartet on presenting information and data is Visual Explanations. As one of the great patent litigators once said, you better make sure the presentation of the infringement evidence is fantastic so that the bingo ladies understand it or we are going to lose big time. This book will help you avoid that catastrophe.
Trade Secret Asset Management: An Executive's Guide to Information Asset Management, Including Sarbanes-Oxley Accounting Requirements for Trade Secrets by R. Mark Halligan and Richard F. Weyand — A little dry but packed full of the information you'll need to manage your intellectual property portfolio.
The Classification of Patents by The US Patent and Trademark Office — The manual for patent classification from 1915. This one is almost 100 years old when things were focused on mechanical inventions. This book is free to download from a variety of places.
Digital Pictures: Representation and Compression by Arun N. Netravali and Barry G. Haskell (1988) — An essential part of any prior art collection for those engaged in the wireless, video, and MPEG world. Our copy doesn't have the cool cover but still provides excellent prior art for HDTV and digital image inventions.
Fiction and Books for Nerds, Geeks, and Patent Pros
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick — Inventions, clocks, trains, Paris, and robots, and beautiful illustrations.
A Patent Lie by Paul Goldstein — A legal thriller with a patent theme with logs of intrigue and court room maneuvers. (Same author as Intellectual Property: The Tough New Realities That Could Make or Break Your Business.)
Errors and Omissions by Paul Goldstein — Another legal yarn with an intellectual property theme with lots of moral and ethical turns.
The God Patent by Ransom Stephens — Enforcement of the patent for the soul.
Publications, Articles, Papers, Research
Thought provoking papers, research, and informed commentary shaping patent policy. Make up your own mind on important intellectual property issues.
- Access to Knowledge
- Government Sponsorship and Nature of Patenting Activity
- Lex Machina NPE Paper
- Probabilistic Patents
- Supreme Court Decision on Gene Patents
- The CLS Bank v. ALICE Corp. decision on software patents
- The Direct Costs from NPE Disputes
- The Value of an Invention
The Evolving IP Marketplace — Aligning Patent Notices and Remedies With Competition by the US Federal Trade Commission, March 2011 — A study of the state of the IP marketplace in light of inventor's requirement to disclosure, the impact of patent enforcement, and the competitive IP marketplace.
US Trade Representative 2012 Special Report 301 — The Special Report is the annual review of the state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement in trading partners around the world.