Apple and Google Spend More on Patents Than on R&D

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 8 2012 8:33 AM

Apple and Google Spend More on Patents Than on Research and Development

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Google's new tablet PC, Nexus 7

Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images.

Another factoid for the patents-aren't-innovation file:

Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to public filings.
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The whole piece from Charles Duhigg and Steve Lohr is worth a read or a recommendation to a friend, but if you missed Zach Carter's long-form Huffington Post piece on patents when it came out in summer 2011 that's also a very important overview. This is an issue that's only just now starting to get a teensy bit of visibility in political and general-interest circles, but the conversation clearly needs to move out of the twin niches of tech people and patent lawyers.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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