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[2]: one easy limitation
by M.Onty on Tue 5th Feb 2013 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE: one easy limitation"
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Who will evaluate whether the drawing adequately represents the invention claimed by the patent? Why would this be more reliable than the current system of evaluating the text?

The English legal system already uses the concept of a hypothetical 'reasonable person'. That 'person' is not expected to be real or present.

The law is used to having to deal with vagueries, so the idea that a reasonable person with relevant education or experience must be able to recognise that a patent properly and clearly represents the idea is entirely sensible.

No doubt the American system has a similar concept it could apply.

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