The Economist Notices That The Patent System Is Hindering Innovation And Needs To Be Fixed

from the wow dept

A whole bunch of you are sending in one of the first mainstream articles I've seen on patents that gets almost (but not quite) everything right. The Economist has a wonderful piece that clearly explains why patents are hindering, rather than helping innovation. It notes the difference between innovation and invention -- and how patents quite often can hinder the former. It discusses how patent thickets get in the way of innovation, and the focus on using patents to force through massive cross-licensing deals simply adds transaction costs and reduces efficiency in the market. The solution to all of this put forth by the Economist is mostly the same thing we've been suggesting for years: bring back a real test for "obviousness" that gets rid of obvious patents -- though, it falls short in not suggesting an independent invention test for obviousness. The only other areas where I'd say the Economist article falls short is (1) simply assuming that patents do work in pharma and biotech -- when there's evidence that's not true, (2) assuming that a ruling in Bilski alone might clear up the obviousness issue and, finally, (3) its parting suggestion that programmers focus on copyright monopolies, rather than patents. Still, it's about as good a piece on this subject as you might expect to see in such a mainstream publication.

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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 10 Feb 2010 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mikey is a shill

    How come if public wants to use that domain name they can;t because Mike Masnick reserved it for himself as his "property" ?

    Angry dude, this has been explained to you before, so I don't quite understand the reasoning in bringing it up again, other than to suggest that you are completely clueless about basic concepts.

    Any domain name is, automatically, a scarce good, because it can only point to a single site. You can't "public domain" something that is scarce. And, yes, a domain name is property because of that inherent scarcity.

    We have no problem at all with property rights on scarce goods.

    The problem only comes in when people try to put fences on ideas.

    Give up domain name, Mikey, or you don't have any fucking moral right to talk about taking inventor's property for public good

    Sure we do. Just because you can't understand basic economics...

    Now I expect some gibberish about scarce and non-scarce goodies and other BS like that
    Tell it to your grandma, Mikey

    Thanks. My grandmother just passed away.

    But at least she was smart enough to understand basic economics. I would suggest that you find an econ professor and ask him about the "gibberish" about scarce and non-scarce goods. It might help you out a bit. Just like we tried to do, and instead you insult my dead grandmother?

    You are a sick, sick individual.

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