The academic research on the topic states that “invention” is defined as the creation of new things. “Innovation” happens when these new things are delivered to the marketplace for the benefit of consumers/society.
Facebook is an example of an innovative networking tool that connects users of all ages from all parts of the globe. But challenge Facebook’s legitimacy as a copyrighted website, or its intellectual patents and the legal wrath of Lisa Greenwald-Swire of HellerEhrman LLP kicks into gear. Don’t believe it? Then talk to Jeff Magee about his parody of Facebook in creating a site that was aesthetically similar to Facebook but connected users through disinterests, rather than friends and mutual interests only to be shut down by HellerEhrman. Don’t all social network sites just perform similar functions, only with a different color scheme?
Mark Zuckerberg, (Facebook founder) has his own legal issues from a 3 year-old lawsuit where he is accused of stealing the business model, source code and idea for the social networking site from three of his Harvard classmates.
What do you think?
1) What matters more, the idea (HarvardConnection) or the innovation of the idea (Facebook)?
2) What would you rather be known for – the idea, or the innovation?
3) Should ideas and innovations have equal value, theoretically and monetarily?
4) Is competition and even mockery only elements of a healthy market?
5) Do claiming rights to a “look and feel,” debilitate competitors by accusing them of stealing and rob consumers of their right to choose?
Even if Zuckerberg didn’t have the original vision – he may have to pay sometime – Facebook should get credit with adjusting to the changing business landscape faster than the team at ConnectU.