Irregular Innovation

Irregular Innovation 

In this series of papers I investigate the “shadowed” areas of the innovation ecosystem, and critically explore whether Intellectual Property law adequately handles cases that deviate from our paradigmatic perceptions of innovation. See also my op-ed “On Legal Research, Intellectual Property, Dwarfs and Giants” @YNET

Neil Gandal, Michal Shur-Ofry, Michael Crystal & Royee Shilony, Out of Sight: A Study of Uncited Patents, 126,Scientometrics  pp. 2903–2929 (2021), draft available at SSRN

Studying the patent citation network increases our understanding of innovation processes. But what about patents that receive no citations? This research focuses on uncited patents, analyzing data on all US patents issued during a period of over thirty years. We find a substantial increase in the ratio of uncited patents during the second half of that period, and discuss its possible causes and significance.

Michal Shur-Ofry, Are There Links Between Inventions? 240 Eynaim—The Multidisciplinary Children’s Magazine, (August, 2020)

This piece, written for a multidisciplinary children's magazine, discusses the different links between inventions, and includes insights about linear vs. nonlinear innovation, the importance of errors, interdisciplinarity, and networks (Hebrew). 

Michal Shur-Ofry, Connect the Dots –Patents and Intedisciplinarity, 51 Michigan J. of Law Reform 55 (2017). My talk on this project is available here.
This study explores the significance of interdisciplinarity for breakthrough innovation, and the implications for patent law. It suggests that interdisciplinarity should be considered a relevant factor in the decision whether to award patent protection. It further proposes a concrete, measurable criterion for evaluating an invention’s interdisciplinarity, relying on big-data analyses of patent citation networks.
Michal Shur-Ofry, Non-linear Innovation, 61:3 McGill Law Journal 563 (2016)
Is innovation always linear and cumulative ? Are we all standing on the shoulders of giants? This paper focuses on innovations that involve paradigm-shifts, and innovators who step-off the shoulders of giants. Using a multidisciplinary perspective drawing on the history of science, studies of creativity, and network analysis I propose ways for IP law to better promote non-linear innovation. The paper was selected for the Israeli Junior Faculty Workshop.
Michal Shur-Ofry, Access to Error, 34 Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Review 357 (2016) 
Legal rules that seek to promote innovation concentrate on the dissemination of positive knowledge. This paper demonstrates that errors, failures and other types of negative information can be equally important for innovation and progress, and considers how the law can promote greater “access to error’. The paper was selected for the Stanford International Junior Faculty Workshop. See my post on this topic @ Balkanization (legal blog), and my talk here (Hebrew). 
See also this recent work, which brings to light some negative knowledge embedded in patent databases - Neil Gandal, Michal Shur-Ofry, Michael Crystal & Royee Shilony, Out of Sight: A Study of Uncited Patents, above.