Archive for the 'Patents' Category

Against Intellectual Monopoly Freely Available

Posted in Copyright, Patents on January 25th, 2008

The forthcoming book Against Intellectual Monopoly, which will be published by Cambridge University Press, is now freely available in digital form.

Here's an excerpt from the introduction:

Our reasoning proceeds along the following lines. Everyone wants a monopoly. No one wants to compete against his own customers, or against imitators. Currently patents and copyrights grant producers of certain ideas a monopoly. Certainly few people do something in exchange for nothing. Creators of new goods are not different from producers of old ones: they want to be compensated for their effort. However, it is a long and dangerous jump from the assertion that innovators deserve compensation for their efforts to the conclusion that patents and copyrights, that is monopoly, are the best or the only way of providing that reward. Statements such as "A patent is the way of rewarding somebody for coming up with a worthy commercial idea" abound in the business, legal and economic press. As we shall see there are many other ways in which innovators are rewarded, even substantially, and most of them are better for society than the monopoly power patents and copyright currently bestow. Since innovators may be rewarded even without patents and copyright, we should ask: is it true that intellectual property achieves the intended purpose of creating incentives for innovation and creation that offset their considerable harm?

This book examines both the evidence and the theory. Our conclusion is that creators’ property rights can be well protected in the absence of intellectual property, and that the latter does not increase either innovation or creation. They are an unnecessary evil.

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    Hi Tech Companies Win House Patent Battle

    Posted in Patents on September 8th, 2007

    In a big win for high technology companies, the House passed a bill that would limit patent litigation.

    Here's an excerpt from "House Passes Bill to Curb Suits by Patent Owners":

    The measure passed by the House would change the rules at the Patent and Trademark Office so patents would go to the first person to file an application, not necessarily the first inventor. . . . It would also allow third parties to introduce evidence against applications and would create a system, called post-grant opposition, to challenge new patents.

    Source: Bloomberg News. "House Passes Bill to Curb Suits by Patent Owners." The New York Times, 8 September 2007, B4.

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