IP is granted under the constitution to encourage innovation. Stories about non-IP protected innovations are rare. Here is one that turns out to be big in the field of computer software. "Hadoop, a free software program named after a toy elephant, has taken over some of the world's biggest Web sites. It controls the top search engines and determines the ads displayed next to the results. It decides what people see on Yahoo's homepage and finds long-lost friends on Facebook link here
. It has achieved this by making it easier and cheaper than ever to analyze and access the unprecedented volumes of data churned out by the Internet. By mapping information spread across thousands of cheap computers and by creating an easier means for writing analytical queries, engineers no longer have to solve a grand computer science challenge every time they want to dig into data. Instead, they simply ask a question."
The software remains open-source, open to anyone to use or modify.
The business model for developers is to give away the software but to make money from selling support and consulting services.
The Times story contains a lot more detail on the spread of the software, but the bottom line is that this innovation does not come from patents and copyright, but from unrestricted and open use.
Yes, Linux is the same way, but we might not have good CPU to run those free programs if Intel and AMD were able to kill each other with their x86 and x86-64 patents:
* Intel to AMD: Your x86 License Expires in 60 Days
* Update! Report: AMD Says Intel is in Breach
* Exclusive: Intel Tells Us Why AMD is Wrong
This is good example how the patents are used currently in the world of computer technology.
"IP is granted under the constitution to encourage innovation"
The US constitution grants nothing. It only recognises natural rights, and delimits the power the government should have in protecting these.
Look to the later legislation of copyright and patent to see where privileges were granted.
The link in the original post is broken. It does not go to the full text of the article.
This link seems to work and to be to the same story: http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/03/17/technology/17cloud.php
In the future, please double-check all links work, with no mess and no fuss, before posting. As in, you can just click and read.