Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Mar 2012 19:04 UTC
Legal "Patent monopolies prevent innovation. It is a system that works against innovations, to protect the current corporations against competition from aggressive, innovative, and competitive upstarts. It allows the big corporations to crush competitive upstarts in the courtroom, rather than having to compete with their products and services." ...which happens to be exactly why the old boys' club of computer technology (Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM) wants to keep it this way. This is not a system for the people, it's a system for huge corporations.
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RE: A first hand experience
by SlothNinja on Mon 12th Mar 2012 20:20 UTC in reply to "A first hand experience"
SlothNinja
Member since:
2011-03-22

http://ploum.net/post/working-with-patents is an interesting take on one man's experience. But, please take it with a huge grain of salt. There are a lot of statements in there that are not quite correct from a legal standpoint.

As for the main article. I might take issue with some of the numbers and assumptions. But, I think the general premise isn't far off -- patents are a game of large corporations. Also, I think there is a very strong argument that in many, if not all, industries patents do not aid innovation and more likely have the opposite effect.

With that said, I think there might be a few industries that would not exist without patent protection. The pharmaceutical industry in particular comes to mind. The amount of money spent to develop, clinically test, and obtain FDA approval is astronomical. However, the ability to copy this work after the fact, while not trivial, is still several orders of magnitude less costly. Without some sort of exclusivity, it would be foolish for any company to spend the dollars needed to develop pharmaceuticals as they would never get their investment back out as others copied for less and saturate the market.

For other industries (e.g. software and electronics in particular), I think a good case can be made that innovation would continue at the present rate and possibly a greater rate, if there were no patents. I think part of the problem is tradition. People know the system that is presently in place and may appreciate that it has flaws. But, they are known flaws. You get rid of the current patent system. It "might" result in better world. Then again, there might be huge unforeseen problems that cause mass economic harm. No one wants to be the cause of such a downfall. Thus, what patent reform that takes place tends to be on the nature of baby steps instead of sweeping changes.

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