Some doctors have begun patenting not just devices but medical procedures and techniques. Proponents argue that this practice is needed to foster innovation in medical care. Critics claim that it perverts the Hippocratic oath and drives up medical costs.
150 years after Thomas Edison’s birth, his record of 1,093 diverse patents is still unrivaled. A massive effort to catalogue his voluminous collection of papers and artifacts is yielding clues to account for his phenomenal success.