dinsdag 15 september 2015

are patents like nature?

There are some striking similarities between patents and nature.

If we look at the human genome for instance, it comprises some 3 billion (10^9) base pairs, coding for 1 billion amino acids. In the human genome some 33 000 genes have been distinguished, meaning that the average gene is about 30 000 characters in size. 

If we look at the size of a patent, it is about 6000 words on average. Since each word counts 5 characters on average, a patent is about 30 000 characters in size. 

This means, that an average gene equals an average patent in information size.

Is that a coincidence? probably not! A gene is a condensed way of providing sufficient information to code for a feature in nature, whereas a patent is a condensed way of providing information for a feature in technology. Both in a gene and in a patent there is a sort of optimum, between on the one hand sufficiency of disclosure to work the invention (to work the gene) and on the other hand the over-expense of resources and effort. Apparently this optimum lies both in our genes and in our patents at a similar size of information load. How cool is that!

Furthermore, If we look for instance at the total human genome, about 3% is coding, in other words 97% of our DNA can be considered "junk". If we look at the portion of all patents being filed, that is commercially successful, this is also about 3%. So in patents as well 97% can be considered "junk". 

Finally, if we consider those genes or patents that belong to this so called successful 3%, there is a typical growth curve that is again very much alike.  

So patents are very similar to nature! 

References to sources of information will follow soon!

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