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Information is Power. InformationAsymmetry is an imbalance of information, usually information about economics. The textbook example of this is called "adverse selection" and refers to demand for insurance coverage being related to factors known to policyholders and unknown to insurers. InformationAsymmetry is a much larger subject, though. Those who have the means to gather and process information do so very strategically, using MarketResearch?, CustomerLoyaltyCard?, DataMining and a host of other modalities. Many of these techniques are based on huge numbers of actual market transactions, which is much higher grade and more powerful information than warranty cards, surveys and other pre-information age market research methods.

Doesn't this imply PowerAsymmetry?? Can CollaborativeCriticism help balance asymmetries in power, information, politics, etc.?

SivaVaidhyanathan? talks about being copyright rich versus copyright poor. You begin by being sued for copyright infringement, and in the end after creating a lot of content, you sue others for infringing your copyright. I suppose IntellectualProperty is about creating InformationAsymmetry post-publication (to combat InformationWantsToBeFree).

I find the whole concept of patents to be somewhat ludicrous in this respect. Companies file for patents they don't want to exploit simply to defend themselves from litigation (though publication is equally effective in this respect). In the end, the winner in a suit is the one who can find the most number of patents infringed by the other party. Very little real gets done in the world today without infringing a patent.

IBM has this strategy, and they also have the most number of patents of any organization, which means no one bothers suing them even when they infringe. This makes them no only patent rich, but patent richer, since they are free to develop new patents built with infringing technology. It also rewards employees who create new patents.


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