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 galvanash on Wed 6th Feb 2013 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE: 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.

Yes. And most sane people see the obvious problem with that - but none-the-less it is an intentional and essential ingredient in the US patent system. "Fixing" this makes no sense, because the parties with any actual say in reforming the system want it this way...

Its like the argument against fighting in hockey. Does fighting have anything to do with the actual game? No. Does the league try to stop it? No. Why? Because the fans like it, and the fans are the whole point.

Likewise, in the US Patent System, the lawyers are the whole point. We can all argue about the roots of patent law and what was intended by the framers, but its really too late - the inmates are running the prison.

The only way to fix it is to scrap it and start over. I am utterly convinced of that. I have read hundreds of good ideas regarding reform - yet the only ones that ever see the light of day are half-ass measures that often cause more harm than good. Its obvious at this point that reform has become a corrupted issue - those with any power to actually effect change only do so in half-hearted attempts to appease the rest of us.

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