Latest Crop of Farm Machinery Software is Planting the Seeds for Strong Copyright Growth
But, I’ve noticed a recent trend that is worth consideration for some new ideas: Copyrights seem to be moving into the money-making spotlight. At the same time, there is less talk of patents as financial security.
How patents may be losing their luster
Two large companies recently announced that they’re loosening the strings on their patent rights somewhat:
- Elon Musk of Tesla fame stated that “these days they [patents] serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors.”
- Ford Motor Company’s intent was expressed in a commentary that it “believes sharing its patented technologies will promote faster development of future inventions as all automakers look toward greater opportunities.”
Regardless of Ford’s or Tesla’s written reasoning, both are almost certainly attempting to expand their own electric vehicles market to make more money. Nothing wrong with making money! That’s what companies should do and it’s quite likely some serious business strategy decisions went into each statement.
NASA has also weighed in about sharing patents, but it’s quite likely that their intent is their own market growth, since they’re a government agency. NASA states that their belief is that sharing its patented technologies will promote faster development of future inventions.
On top of all this, there has been a lot of negative press about patents in regards to lawsuits from Patent Trolls as well as some general fear/disrespect for patents in general.
How copyrights may be gaining appeal
John Deere, the tractor manufacturer best known for its trademark green color, is receiving a lot of attention about copyrights lately.
As you might have guessed, tractors have been around a really long time and there are several companies that are well known in this industry. So, in a saturated market, how would you choose to beef up (agricultural pun intended) the bottom line?
According to Fortune magazine, one row to hoe is software services. While feeding the bottom line, these services also add a lot of complexity to the products they’re improving and the lives of the people that use them.
A recent article in Wired points out how the do-it-yourself culture of farmers is getting interrupted. Modern farm equipment includes sophisticated information gathering, but farmers can’t pull down the data their equipment generates and they are unable to fix minor or major problems without the permission of John Deere.
The reason is software copyrights. Certainly password protection and other hardware barriers limit the ability of people to log into their tractor’s computer systems, but ultimately it is the copyright that says you are violating the law during any attempt to do so.
Is this example unusual? Not at all. Ford is asserting their copyrights, among other methods, in an attempt to control the activities of competing diagnostic reader Autel which “decrypted a list of parts used in Ford’s vehicles and included it in its own product.”
The problem for Ford is that Autel’s “aftermarket diagnostics tools [are] meant to help consumers identify problems with their vehicles without requiring them to visit a manufacturer-sanctioned automotive shop in order to do so.”
Perhaps the Internet of Things (IoT) will push copyrights ahead in importance for years to come.
My thoughts and predictions
Let’s wrap up this discussion of patents versus copyrights with some analysis.
I predict that companies in the agricultural and construction equipment segments will continue to move forward to refocus their profit margins on copyrights, especially as their products get even more laden with sensors and computerization.
Already, Caterpillar, known for the famous yellow color on its line of construction equipment, has been noted as “installing all kinds of cameras, sensors and satellite-based positioning control and guidance systems on its machines to help customers increase their productivity and efficiency and eliminate workplace accidents.”
While this data is very useful, it is potentially most valuable to the company as it promotes services and tries to stifle competition. I predict that the buyers of these products will start becoming more vocal about gaining access to any and all data that they have generated but may not be currently available to them.
Why are patents losing their luster while copyrights begin to shine for future business profits? A few ideas:
- Patents are more time consuming and expensive to obtain and maintain than copyrights.
- “Software” patents are being more rigorously examined by the USPTO and, therefore, have become much harder to obtain since the “Alice” decision in 2014 by the U.S. Supreme Court.
- In the U.S., the term for patents is 20 years while the term for corporate copyrights is 120 years.
- Patent infringement is more difficult to detect while detecting copyright infringement in software can be much easier when the software has to connect with the company’s server for authentication, updates, or data storage.
- Software development seems to be getting a lot more attention than hardware in recent years. At least that’s my perception.
Are either of either of these trends real? If so, are they related? What are your thoughts?
With thanks to David Tuttle, Research Fellow in the Energy Institute at The University of Texas, for his contributions.
GLO members Mark Macdonald, NYT best-selling author and CEO of Venice Nutrition and Greg Ray, CEO of International Thought Leader Network, collaborated to support 40 entrepreneurs and CEOs at performance coach, Steven Griffith’s Time Compression Workshop in Beverly Hills, California.
Participants ranging from former professional athletes to movie industry veterans, real estate executives to small business owners learned strategies and techniques for streamlining their business agendas focused on their personal values and highest level business objectives.
The end result was 40 attendees making 40 high-quality connections plus learning new strategies for growth.
Need growth in your Business? Just us how!
As a leader, do you relate to the top three priorities of 1,700 CEOs?
- Cultivate new and creative avenues for growth
- Mobilize for speed and flexibility to address market changes
- Capitalize on collective intelligence, inside and outside the organization
Couple these priorities with the scarcity of time and a leader is faced with acutely challenging set of circumstances. In other words, how will you find adequate time to solve these omnipresent questions:
- Where will your growth come from?
- What market changes can you predict?
- How can you access collective intelligence of the brightest minds?
The Global Leadership Organization (GLO) was created to actively meet these leadership needs in a platform delivering maximum impact alongside ease and economy of participation. GLO took the best practices from other peer to peer/leader to leader organizations along with premier curation of cutting-edge influencers.
GLO facilitates a members-only forum of high quality connections and a unique system of Knowledge Currency.
Should you qualify to be a member of the Global Leadership Organization you will be at the forefront of organizational growth, flexibility and a competitive advantage.
Click here for a Features and Benefits Overview.
What if you could get innovation advice from Michelangelo? Imagine sitting down with Thomas Edison about problem solving strategies? How amazing would it be to get business mentorship from Henry Ford or leadership advice from Mahatma Gandhi?
Let’s get real!
These mentors are long gone, but today’s equivalents are a click away.
Fill that curious space between your ears with cutting edge insights.
Your Global Leadership Organization is proud to curate a collection of one-on-one interviews with today’s thought leaders and tomorrow’s legends.
To name a few:
- Kevin Harrington – There’s a reason this guy was a founding member of the show, Shark Tank. When someone can pick a winner like the Ginsu Knife or activate billions through As Seen on TV – you might want to know how you too can “pick a winner.”
- Harry Dent – Today’s economic version of Nostradamus simplifying economic trends with demographic algorithms.
- Suze Orman – In a world of self-absorbed pundits, a refreshing, no B.S. viewpoint on the smartest path to financial freedom is Orman’s playground.
- John Sculley – Grab a coffee and hang with a guy who has been a global, corporate icon. When this guy clears his throat, people take notes.
- Marshall Goldsmith – Billionaires are put on a waiting list to be coached by this master communicator. His take on what stands in your way will have you sit up and take note.
- Josh Altman – The best athletes in the world have coaches. A chat with Josh Altman will be the best few minutes you will ever experience in your business career.
Let’s get serious about your future as a leader. While it appears that dysfunction is all around us, there are people truly changing the world and we’re bringing them to you.
Join Global Leaders Organization as you invest your time and attention for that curious space between your ears.
This is a post from GLO Founder Kevin Harrington
We’ve all seen the image on television, the proud CEO ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, an act symbolizing a lifetime of achievement. His company has gone public and beaten the odds for success. The thrill of victory is on his face and visions of wealth beyond imagination is no doubt dancing in his head. His company made it to Wall Street and will fly with the eagles, that is, until, its wings are clipped by an unforgiving organized public market watching every earning report.
Today, there are only about 5,000 companies listed on major US stock exchanges and only about 300 go public each year. While going public on Wall Street remains an emblematic symbol of realizing the American Dream, it’s not where the action is, or the reward, for 99.9999% of us. And that’s just the way we like it!
Going public with entrepreneurial success happens every day, in every corner of American (and the world), and achieving breakthrough success as a business owner, inventor, or investor requires a similar path of right moves to realize a lifetime of achievement, your just rewards.
The good news is that while those 300 big businesses a year breakthrough to go public and achieve their 15 minutes of televised fame, among the 28 million existing small businesses and over 500,000 new business that are started each month IN THE U.S. ALONE, millions have the chance to ring the proverbial bell for themselves.
Success may mean starting the business you’ve always wanted, growing into a multi-million dollar company, creating a successful product from your invention or idea or selling your business.
You can do it! Joining Global Leaders Organization is a great next step. For one, I’ll be sharing what I know about going public with your business and brand that I’ve learned from some 500 product launches with more than 20 achieving over $100 million in revenues. Beyond that, learning from peer business leaders, and expanding your portfolio of connections and new opportunities can be invaluable on your road to greater success.