"Intellectual property laws which were designed to protect inventors are actually stifling innovation, according to a leading US law academic. Michael Heller, an academic at Columbia University in New York, told technology law podcast OUT-LAW Radio that intellectual property laws are being used to stop new products and services being made. "I discovered a paradox in the free market and it is this: usually private ownership creates wealth, but too much ownership has the opposite effect - it creates gridlock," he said. "When too many owners control a single resource – it can be a patent, a copyright, land – when too many people control a single resource, co-operation breaks down and wealth disappears. Everybody ends up losing.""