First on the Scene

FRAMINGHAM (04/24/2000) - Kevin Rivette, co-author of Rembrandts in the Attic, an intellectual property book published by Harvard Business School Publishing, says Wired magazine could probably have patented the now-ubiquitous Web page banner advertisement.

A patent on banner ads, which, when clicked on, transports the viewer to the advertiser's Web site, would now be quite valuable.

Rivette suggests that Wired should have engaged in what he calls "choke-point analysis" to figure out what it should patent.

"What you want to patent are the things that will prevent your competitors from solving the same industrywide problem that you are solving," Rivette says. "If Wired didn't patent any other stuff, they should have patented the banner ad, because it was the one thing that everybody who was going to compete with them had to do. It was the industrywide problem that they solved - the choke-point."

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