Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Means of Innovation

Looking for the latest from Professor Sean O’Connor? Check out The Means of Innovation, a new blog about law, creativity, commerce, and entrepreneurship.

Professor O’Connor’s scholarship is focused on how legal structures and strategies facilitate innovation. With this broad focus, he is writing an entertaining and educational blog that covers a range of topics including intellectual property, innovation and invention, legal instruction, and legal theory and policy.

The blog is a fascinating read in particular because Professor O’Connor stays on top of interesting articles and books, then, after briefly summarizing the topic, he provides direct and immediate commentary on aspects of the article you may have never considered. For example, a recent post concerning a New York Times article about a young woman who invented a prosthetic limb that would reduce phantom limb pain in amputees served as a jumping-off point for a discussion of the role of “innovation producers” (i.e., those individuals who are “able to bring together all the resources needed to take a cool idea or vision all the way to something that can be produced at a cost that makes it reasonably accessible to the market.”)

The blog is written in a congenial style that makes it easy to read and understand. If you’ve had Professor O’Connor for a class, you’ll be happy to know his blog style reflects his teaching style in that he makes the complicated legal issues easy to understand through his examples and illustrations. Two practicing lawyers, Brian Endter and Patrick Franke(both of Graham & Dunn), also contribute to the blog.

The Means of Innovation is also a forum for dialogue among those who want to think deeply and seriously about innovation across all different spaces (not just “technology”) and how those interested in innovation can get serious about the nuts and bolts of know-how/show-how rather than reduce innovation to theory and symbolic language constructs.

Professor O’Connor is working on a book, Methodology: Art, Science, Technology, Law, and the Means of Innovation.

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