The Economist Disagrees With The Economist: Argues We Need More Patents, Approved Faster
from the or-what? dept
It builds off of the budget debate in the US, questioning why the US would cut funds to the Patent Office, not for once recognizing that more patents might not be a good thing. Instead, it just assumes there is some direct causal realtionship between patents and jobs. I'm not kidding:
Last year the Patent Office granted 244,358 patents out of the applications it examined. Although you can debate how many jobs are created on average per patent, there is no doubt that, collectively, they are a useful contribution to an economy that is still struggling to grow.I would imagine it might lead to the employment of a few more lawyers, but not much more than that. The idea that patents create jobs is simply not supported by the evidence at all.
Imagine, though, how much bigger that contribution might be had the Patent Office been able to process the applications that it has still not even looked at. There are more than 700,000 of these.
Thankfully, lots of people are calling The Economist out on this one. Paul Kedrosky, from whom I found the article, questions if the article is "clueless and out-of-touch." It's too bad the anonymous Economist author of the latter article didn't speak to the anonymous Economist author of the first article. Or, well, anyone who actually works in the field of innovation today.