Patent Reform Is Only Bad For Startups Who Rely On Patent Law

from the patents-are-not-a-business-model dept

There are some news reports coming out about "small inventors" and "startups" coming out against patent reform, but when you read between the lines, that's not what's happening at all. What's happening is that a few entrepreneurs who have relied heavily on patents as part of their business model are coming out against patent reform. That's not surprising. After all, this form of government protectionism did help them. However, that does not mean that it's good for society or promoting innovation overall (which is the purpose of the patent system). There is no single view from startups. If a startup's business model is going to rely on patents, then obviously they'll want stronger patent protection. However, plenty of startups these days don't rely on patent protections, and focus on other types of business models instead. For them, patents are a real worry -- because even as they innovate, they always need to be wary of some no-name, no-product company suddenly suing them for actually building a product people want. So, while the press and some lobbyists will spin the press conference as "startups" against patent reform or even (as they're trying to say) "startups" vs "big tech companies," it's really "startups who rely on patents" vs companies who recognize they don't need patents to innovate.

Filed Under: dean kamen, inventors, patent reform, patents, steve perlman

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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 21 Sep 2007 @ 9:46am

    Re: Another use for patents

    Another reason for having patents is to protect intellectual property that people and companies have invested time, effort and, usually, money to create. If people and companies cannot reap the fruits of their R&D, then they won't engage in as much of it. Pretty simple economics and business model basics.

    For someone who keeps claiming to have a degree in economics, it's amazing that you seem confused about basic economics.

    I could say the same thing about giving a monopoly to Pizza Hut for pizza restaurants. Obviously, they would like protection for the "invested time, effort and, usually, money to create." However, no one suggests that, because they know that competition is important in driving innovation.

    You probably learned in economics why protectionist policies are bad. Why are you suddenly in favor of them in this case?

    Your second hugely incorrect assumption is that without patent protection "cannot reap the fruits of their R&D." I've pointed out a ton of research, examples and studies that prove this is simply not true.

    Your economics are wrong and your assumptions are wrong.

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