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A Semi-Public Utility?

Executive Summary

In most industries, creating strong demand for products is the key to proprietary value--and the more demand, the greater the value. But in the case of both drug and Internet companies this past year, the very thing that should have created enormous value--the potential for extremely wide-scale adoption of their products--instead fostered push back when adoption threatened to become too widespread because it was too valuable for any one company to have on an exclusive basis. The tremendous importance that both pharmaceuticals and the Internet, for different reasons, have assumed in people's lives has turned what should be a proprietary asset into something closer to a semi-public utility.

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