And Now Europe Feels The Need To Catch Up To China And The US In The Self-Destructive Patent Race

from the bad-news-for-innovation dept

Well, you had to know this was coming. When you make the very dangerous mistake of assuming that patents are a proxy for innovation, then you get concerned when other countries/regions are getting more patents than you are. We've already covered how China is ramping up their patent approvals in an attempt to create an economic weapon against the West ("sorry, you can't sell those computers here, they violate the patent of this Shanghai firm..."). And, of course, the US has stupidly fallen into line and started approving patents willy-nilly to keep up. So, over in Europe, overreacting bureaucrats are about to make the same mistake. They've declared that the EU is "falling behind" in innovation (really, patents) and are urging a more streamlined patent system that would be European-wide. The idea, of course, is that with a EU-wide patent system, it becomes easier to get patents. Of course, that only helps innovation if patents actually lead to more innovation and, sadly, the evidence suggests otherwise.

Filed Under: china, eu, patents, us


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  1. identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, 5 Feb 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    http://i.imgur.com/fErsO.jpg
    That's utility patents not patents over all. Are they processed by different people? Try this, which I posted in a previous article for you and where I'm getting my stats from. Also that still doesn't have any reference to rejections. Where are you getting the rejection data from?
    up 3.5%, with increases in both approvals and rejections (which denies the idea of a rubber stamp policy).
    No it doesn't. To do that it would require evidence of an improved methodology, (which ought to have followed some established process improvement framework - CMM is popular with the US government - and should certainly have it's own associated metrics). Or a significant increase in the number of examiners or some other more concrete reason than "We did better".
    Without such evidence in fact it would tend to suggest "rubber stamping" as you put it rather than refute it.
    My feeling is that if you want to find something sinister in the numbers, you can find them.
    I wasn't suggesting anything sinisiter in the numbers I was suggesting politely that it looked like you'd pulled yours out of your backside. In fact I wasn't particularly suggesting anything in the numbers, merely quoteing specific numbers and using them to challenge the assertations you had made without quoting any supporting evidence.

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