Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Feb 2013 16:49 UTC
Legal "The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity, unless productivity is identified with the number of patents awarded - which, as evidence shows, has no correlation with measured productivity. Both theory and evidence suggest that while patents can have a partial equilibrium effect of improving incentives to invent, the general equilibrium effect on innovation can be negative. A properly designed patent system might serve to increase innovation at a certain time and place. Unfortunately, the political economy of government-operated patent systems indicates that such systems are susceptible to pressures that cause the ill effects of patents to grow over time. Our preferred policy solution is to abolish patents entirely and to find other legislative instruments, less open to lobbying and rent seeking, to foster innovation when there is clear evidence that laissez-faire undersupplies it. However, if that policy change seems too large to swallow, we discuss in the conclusion a set of partial reforms that could be implemented." Written by economics professors Michelle Boldrin and David K. Levine, published in the winter issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Via John Siracusa.
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RE: one easy limitation
by JLF65 on Tue 5th Feb 2013 18:45 UTC in reply to "one easy limitation"
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That won't solve anything because the primary problem with patents today is that they are almost exclusively written by and for lawyers. Ever seen an engineer try to read a patent? They're told they need to consult a lawyer to understand what it truly says... and that's the problem.

Patents are supposed to be written so that anyone with average skills in the subject can reproduce the patented item. That hasn't been the case ever since lawyers worked their way into the equation. So the first REAL change MUST be to make it illegal to have a lawyer work on a patent. If the average person in the field cannot read the patent, it's invalid. No more "legalese" in patents.

That will cure 95% of the problems.

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