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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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If it didn't pay, nobody would ever do anything

Incentive to Create

Comments

mimi [self-assured]: No one would *create* without *monetary incentives.*

eunice: *Nonsense.* People create for all kinds of reasons.

mimi [angrily, to a shocked eunice]: *Who paid you to say that?!*

If you want an example of how this can be really perverted, check out this article:

The "Fallacy of Intellectual Property" Fallacy

"No one would create without monetary incentives."

Surprisingly, many opponents of copyright firmly believe that the above statement accurately reflects the views of creators and the creative industries that they think but for copyright, creativity would not exist.

That is so warped. It is the supporters of copyright who claim the privilege of a monopoly is needed, and without it far fewer (if any) would create. Opponents suggest that money should be ample incentive (free as in free speech, not as in free beer), and that suspending the public's liberty to share and build upon their own culture is a legislative fiasco that benefits the printer (and state) far more than the author (and public).

The gloves are coming off as the battle for monopoly vs liberty heats up.

The thing is, I don't know what the pro-copyright axis hopes to obtain through all this FUD, misdirection and misrepresentation except a postponement of their ultimate dissolution. King Canute can dig a trench in front of his sandcastle, but it will only briefly delay the diffusing tide.

How silly. Of COURSE people will create without incentive. J.D. Salinger had 10 or more novels in his safe at the time of his death. Clearly, he neither cared about copyright or incentive.

On the other hand, apparently copyright was insufficient to provide him with enough incentive to share those novels, which is the bigger problem. As Thomas Jefferson noted, the goal of the patent system from the PUBLIC perspective was NEVER to incentivize people to create; the goal was to get people to share their creations. As inventors themselves have said over and over again, patents are often the difference between someone trying to bring their invention to market versus letting it sit in the pages of a notebook or in their garage, to be reinvented, over and over again, because the invention is never shared.

Alonniemouse writes:
On the other hand, apparently copyright was insufficient to provide him with enough incentive to share those novels, which is the bigger problem. As Thomas Jefferson noted, the goal of the patent system from the PUBLIC perspective was NEVER to incentivize people to create; the goal was to get people to share their creations. As inventors themselves have said over and over again, patents are often the difference between someone trying to bring their invention to market versus letting it sit in the pages of a notebook or in their garage, to be reinvented, over and over again, because the invention is never shared.

There's no evidence that patents have any beneficial effects in this area -- nor copyrights.

Inventions languish in notebooks if nobody can think of a way to commercialize them. If there's no apparent way to commercialize them, a patent won't magically help.

And works of art that go unshared likely do so out of fear of embarrassment. Stage fright, in essence. A copyright doesn't magically make stage fright go away any more than a patent magically creates a market for a formerly-useless invention. Other forces may do so but "IP" will not.

Anoneywax Says:

"There's no evidence that patents have any beneficial effects in this area -- nor copyrights."

Can't speak to copyrights.

I can point out that Thomas Jefferson specifically stated that the patent system certainly seemed to be doing precisely that. Though I am unaware of any studies either one way or the other, which means that patents indeed could have beneficial effects in this area, dozens of inventors have documented that they revealed their inventions specifically because they could patent them. While anecdotal evidence is far from a formal study, I presume that if the anti-IP crowd could prove the opposite, they would have by now.

Alonniemouse says:

[insult deleted] Says

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I can point out that Thomas Jefferson specifically stated that the patent system certainly seemed to be doing precisely that.

I can point out that Thomas Jefferson specifically stated that patents were evil.

dozens of inventors have documented that they revealed their inventions specifically because they could patent them.

Inventions they didn't reveal anyway why? Perhaps because they saw no way to commercialize them? Perhaps because there was no way (at least then) to commercialize them? Making the patent useless.

I presume that if the anti-IP crowd could prove the opposite, they would have by now.

We already have.

Anoneywax Says:

"I can point out that Thomas Jefferson specifically stated that patents were evil."

Rather than claiming that he made such a statement, prove it.

I said: Dozens of inventors have documented that they revealed their inventions specifically because they could patent them.

You responded: Inventions they didn't reveal anyway why?

I am puzzled. I said they revealed their inventions because patents provided them with the incentive to do so. How does that go from reveal to not reveal?

You also said: Perhaps because they saw no way to commercialize them? Perhaps because there was no way (at least then) to commercialize them? Making the patent useless.

Among others who clearly stated that they revealed their inventions because of the ability to patent includes the inventor of AC electricity, the console video game, the cotton gin (wonder how many more decades it would have taken to invent a cotton gin without Eli Whitney revealing the solution?), the automated shoe laster, the articulating steam shovel (whose mechanism continues to be used to this day - value, value, value), and many more. Every one of these inventions not only has proven valuable, but proven valuable for a century or more. Thank goodness that patents encouraged these inventors to share.

I said: "I presume that if the anti-IP crowd could prove the opposite, they would have by now."

You responded: "We already have."

Proof. Where? Your proof is like the Emporer's new clothes.

Alonniemouse writes:
[insult deleted] Says

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"I can point out that Thomas Jefferson specifically stated that patents were evil."

[calls me a liar]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

*sigh* If you insist ...

Fourscore and a couple of hundred years ago, Jefferson wrote:

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

Alonniemouse wrote:

"Inventions they didn't reveal anyway why?"

I am puzzled. I said they revealed their inventions because patents provided them with the incentive to do so. How does that go from reveal to not reveal?

The question was why they (allegedly!) wouldn't have revealed their inventions otherwise.

Among others who clearly stated that they revealed their inventions because of the ability to patent includes the inventor of AC electricity

Easily independently invented

the console video game

Easily independently invented

the automated shoe laster

The what?

the articulating steam shovel

Easily independently invented

the cotton gin

Prove it wouldn't have been revealed if the inventor had never heard of patents or conceived of their existence

and many more

How many more, zero? Maybe even one?

Let's see, one you garbled, several whose inventions were inevitable around their respective times, and one very, very slight possibility of something that might have taken a wee bit longer otherwise (but probably not).

You're not doing too hot, Lonnie.

Every one of these inventions not only has proven valuable, but proven valuable for a century or more. Thank goodness that patents encouraged these inventors to share.

For that claim, all you have is anecdotal evidence; a few quotes here and there. But we really don't know what those inventors might have shared anyway in a counterfactual world with no patent system. Or who else might have invented the same thing at about the same time otherwise.

Except in at least one case: alternating current. We know Steinmetz, Tesla, and Westinghouse were all closing in on that technology at around the same time. It's a virtual certainty that without any patent system or any hope of such a monopoly, at least one of the three would nonetheless have revealed it and someone (likely Edison or Westinghouse) would have commercialized it.

Anoneywax:

I note that no where in your quote of Thomas Jefferson did he call patents evil. Not even once. Care to try again?

"The question was why they (allegedly!) wouldn't have revealed their inventions otherwise."

Well, because they said they would not. Of course, you seem to be in the habit of calling people liars, so perhaps you think all inventors who obtain patents are liars.

I said: "Among others who clearly stated that they revealed their inventions because of the ability to patent includes the inventor of AC electricity."

You said: "Easily independently invented."

I find it amusing that you claim that AC was "easily independently invented. There are several reasons that is untrue, reasons for which Tesla is hailed as a genius.

At the time Tesla invented AC, there was no AC technology. None. There were no devices to take advantage of AC, which Tesla also ultimately invented. There was zero commercial support for AC since DC technology was proven. Indeed, the only person pushing AC was Tesla. If Tesla had not invented AC, it is uncertain how many decades later this "easily independently invented" invention would have been invented, if ever. DC had already existed for more than 20 years by the time AC was invented, and no one, except Tesla, saw the advantages, so I dispute the level of ease you claim.

I said: "The console video game."

You claimed: "Easily independently invented."

The console video game was conceived in the 1940's. When the inventor finally had time to actually focus on building it a design, it was 20 years later. In those two decades no one else "easily independently invented" the console video game.

Once the console video game was commercially demonstrated by the inventor in the form of Pong, the electronics industry came to the inventor to license the technology because the inventor was the only one to come up with the concepts and the implementation needed for the console video game. It was nearly three decades after the original concept was developed before other inventors finally began to understand enough about the invention to build on it. Once again, I dispute your claim that this invention was "easily independently invented" because history does not support your claim.

I said: "The automated shoe laster."

You said: "The what?"

During the 19th century, we knew how to put shoes together in an automated fashion with the exception of the region around the toes. So, shoes were completely assembled automatically and then the area around the toes were assembled by hand. This was the situation when an immigrant to the United States came on the scene.

Using his own money, Jan Matzeliger worked for hours on his own time trying to figure out how to make a machine that would last the toes of shoes, a seemingly impossible task that engineers had failed to solve in several decades of automated shoe manufacture. After more than five years of experimentation, Jan finally developed a design that worked.

After the first automated toe laster was put into production in 1885, the price of shoes fell by half. In fact, the automated toe laster is responsible for making shoes cheap enough for the average person to own a pair of leather shoes.

Because engineers failed during the decades prior to the invention of the machine to come up with a suitable solution, I dispute any assertion that this invention was "easily independently invented."

I said: "The articulating steam shovel."

You said: "Easily independently invented."

The steam shovel was invented in 1839. Fifty-five years later the steam shovel remained a clunky device that had limited usage. Captain Richard Thew thought there had to be a way to make a steam shovel more useful. He also thought that if he could invent a better steam shovel, he could also obtain a patent and perhaps make his fortune.

He spent several years sketching and working with an expert to translate his ideas into detailed drawings. When Thew's first steam shovels came on the market, they were derided because the turntable they sat on looked strange to experienced users of steam shovels. Also, the steam shovel had a slide mechanism that permitted translating the bucket up and down, permitting the shovel to more effectively dig earth.

Within a few years, Thew's invention had caused a revolution in the steam shovel industry, an industry that had sat moribund for four decades.

Because the period of time between the original steam shovel invention and Thew's invention, being 1839 to 1895, and because no one in the steam shovel industry had conceived anything even vaguely close to Thew's critical inventions, I dispute your assertion of "easily independently invented."

I said: "The cotton gin."

You said: "Prove it wouldn't have been revealed if the inventor had never heard of patents or conceived of their existence."

Actually, Eli Whitney originally never intended on selling cotton gins. His original plan was to charge farmers to gin their cotton and to keep farmers from learning about his invention. Unfortunately for Eli, once the device was demonstrated it was relatively easy to copy.

However, that was not the point. The cotton gin could easily have been invented 50 years earlier and yet, it was not. The point is not that the gin would never have been invented without patents, the point is that it might not have been invented for another 5 or 10 decades without one person conceiving the heart of the invention. In the case of Eli Whitney, he had a flash of genius and realized in a flash how cotton might be ginned. Whitney also saw his idea as a potential money-maker for him and pursued development of his invention in the hope of getting a patent.

I said: "and many more."

You said: "How many more, zero? Maybe even one?"

How about thousands? I am collecting stories of inventors who were specifically motivated by patents to develop an invention and market it.

You said: "Let's see, one you garbled,"

Indeed? What did I garble?

You said: "several whose inventions were inevitable around their respective times,"

Considering the decades involved, I dispute that even one of these inventions was inevitable. On the other hand, if you can show that someone else independently arrived at the same invention during the same era, then you might have what we call "evidence."

You said: "and one very, very slight possibility of something that might have taken a wee bit longer otherwise (but probably not)."

I have provided sufficient evidence that all these inventions came decades later than they could have come. What was lacking was someone sufficiently motivated to make the inventions.

You said: "You're not doing too hot, Lonnie."

Do not call me names.

I said: "Every one of these inventions not only has proven valuable, but proven valuable for a century or more. Thank goodness that patents encouraged these inventors to share."

You said: "For that claim, all you have is anecdotal evidence; a few quotes here and there. But we really don't know what those inventors might have shared anyway in a counterfactual world with no patent system."

Well, we have their words that they invested their time and money with the desire to obtain a patentable product. If you were Captain Thew standing on a boat, watching a steam shovel work, and suddenly realized how the steam shovel might be improved, but it would cost a fortune to develop with relatively limited benefit to Captain Thew, what would be his motivator to take that sort of risk without patents?

You said: "Or who else might have invented the same thing at about the same time otherwise."

Captain Thew's steam shovels were initially laughed at. It took years for them to catch on. I suggest, based on historical evidence, that no one else was "crazy" enough to propose the designs he did. So, the answer is, without evidence from you, no one. We also have the historical record that shows a 56 gap between the development of the steam shovel and Captain Thew's inventions that made the steam shovel critical to the development of the industrialized world. A better question is how one man was able to see an invention that changed steam shovel technology so much and no one else did during that 56 year period.

You said: "Except in at least one case: alternating current. We know Steinmetz, Tesla, and Westinghouse were all closing in on that technology at around the same time. It's a virtual certainty that without any patent system or any hope of such a monopoly, at least one of the three would nonetheless have revealed it and someone (likely Edison or Westinghouse) would have commercialized it."

Westinghouse purchased Tesla's AC patent portfolio about a decade after Tesla developed the technolgoy and Tesla's technology is what Westinghouse used. Westinghouse was not "closing in" on the technology, they bought it from Tesla.

Steinmetz based his patents on Tesla's technology. He too did not "close in" on the technology so much as build on what Tesla had done.

Edison was actively opposed to AC technology until more than 20 years after Tesla's first patents. It was only after Westinghouse became successful with alternating current power systems based on Tesla's patents that Edison finally admitted that he may have been wrong about the value of alternating current.

It's a virtual certainty that without any patent system or hope of such a monopoly that Tesla would not have revealed the technology, which means that the theoretical and practical work that formed the basis of the work of Steinmetz and was used by Westinghouse that it would have set the development of alternating current back by one or two decades, if not more.

Alonniemouse writes:
[insult deleted]:

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You are quite the glutton for punishment, aren't you, Lonnie? You'll leave this blog alone for months, but you just can't resist coming back here eventually and picking a fight by making some trolling pro-patent comment or another, can you?

I note that no where in your quote of Thomas Jefferson did he call patents evil. Not even once. [implied insult deleted]

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

His implication that monopoly, in all its forms, is evil was clear.

"The question was why they (allegedly!) wouldn't have revealed their inventions otherwise."

Well, because they said they would not.

And how do they know what they might or might not have done, in a counterfactual world where there had been no patent system?

Of course, you seem to be in the habit of calling people liars

That is, itself, a lie.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

so perhaps you think all inventors who obtain patents are liars.

More likely just mistaken. It is you who is a liar.

I find it amusing that you claim that AC was "easily independently invented.

Did you also find my evidence amusing? I noted two other inventors who were working on the same stuff at the same time.

The console video game was conceived in the 1940's. When the inventor finally had time to actually focus on building it a design, it was 20 years later. In those two decades no one else "easily independently invented" the console video game.

That we know of. The fact is, if someone had, they'd have found the patent that the first guy filed back in the forties and not bothered doing anything since it would just have gotten them sued.

And by the time something was done, that patent had presumably long since expired. So much for the "need" for that particular monopoly, eh, Lonnie?

It was nearly three decades after the original concept was developed before other inventors finally began to understand enough about the invention to build on it.

Sounds like a more than adequate first-mover advantage, which would have existed with or without a several-decades-old, and thus expired, patent.

Once again, [calls me a liar]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I said: "The automated shoe laster."

You said: "The what?"

Using his own money, Jan Matzeliger worked for hours on his own time trying to figure out how to make a machine that would last the toes of shoes

Please speak English. You are not using the word "last" in a manner consistent with the meaning of the English word that is spelt that way (which is used as an adjective, adverb, or noun -- not a verb).

a seemingly impossible task that engineers had failed to solve in several decades of automated shoe manufacture. After more than five years of experimentation, Jan finally developed a design that worked.

Assuming you're not just making the whole thing up (as your persistently odd vocabulary suggests), do you honestly think that Jan was the only person who could conceivably ever have done that, rather than merely being the first?

Because engineers failed during the decades prior to the invention of the machine to come up with a suitable solution, I dispute any assertion that this invention was "easily independently invented."

Did I make such an assertion in this particular instance?

The steam shovel was invented in 1839. Fifty-five years later the steam shovel remained a clunky device that had limited usage. Captain Richard Thew thought there had to be a way to make a steam shovel more useful. He also thought that if he could invent a better steam shovel, he could also obtain a patent and perhaps make his fortune.

He spent several years sketching and working with an expert to translate his ideas into detailed drawings.

Where are you plagiarizing these little pro-patent blurbs from, by the way? You've changed the wording enough to foil a cursory Google search, but I know you didn't write all of that yourself just for one trollish blog comment.

When Thew's first steam shovels came on the market, they were derided because the turntable they sat on looked strange to experienced users of steam shovels. Also, the steam shovel had a slide mechanism that permitted translating the bucket up and down, permitting the shovel to more effectively dig earth.

Within a few years, Thew's invention had caused a revolution in the steam shovel industry, an industry that had sat moribund for four decades.

Just because it sometimes takes a while for someone to see the obvious, doesn't mean that it wasn't obvious. People take things for granted, aside from the odd one who thinks "how can this be improved?". The dubious incentive of a patent is generally not needed for the latter, who as often as not simply wish to make their own jobs easier and more efficient, and won't help the former.

[calls me a liar]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I said: "The cotton gin."

You said: "Prove it wouldn't have been revealed if the inventor had never heard of patents or conceived of their existence."

Actually, Eli Whitney originally never intended on selling cotton gins. His original plan was to charge farmers to gin their cotton and to keep farmers from learning about his invention. Unfortunately for Eli, once the device was demonstrated it was relatively easy to copy.

Unfortunately for greedy Eli, but fortunately for everybody else.

However, that was not the point. The cotton gin could easily have been invented 50 years earlier and yet, it was not.

And yet, you yourself just admitted it could "easily" have been invented. Patents aren't needed to incentivize such inventions; it just happens when the right person with the right kind of mind comes along and sees something.

I said: "and many more."

You said: "How many more, zero? Maybe even one?"

How about thousands? I am collecting stories of inventors who were specifically motivated by patents to develop an invention and market it.

Of course you are. I'm still interested in the names of these dubious sources from which you are plagiarizing whole paragraphs full of mildly amusing, unsubstantiated pro-patent anecdotes.

You said: "Let's see, one you garbled,"

Indeed? What did I garble?

Whichever one came out as "shoe laster" instead of a properly-formatted, grammatical English noun phrase with a legitimate English verb between "shoe" and "-er".

You said: "several whose inventions were inevitable around their respective times,"

Considering the decades involved, I dispute that even one of these inventions was inevitable.

You seem to not understand the scope of historical time, Lonnie. A few years earlier or later is nothing compared to the millennia that civilization has endured thus far.

On the other hand, if you can show that someone else independently arrived at the same invention during the same era, then you might have what we call "evidence."

I did that for one of your examples. Hadn't you noticed?

You said: "and one very, very slight possibility of something that might have taken a wee bit longer otherwise (but probably not)."

I have provided sufficient evidence

You have provided a mere handful of anecdotes that you strongly imply you plagiarized from one or more unnamed source documents. That's hardly "evidence".

that all these inventions came decades later than they could have come. What was lacking was someone sufficiently motivated to make the inventions.

What was lacking was someone noticing something. Inventions start when someone notices something that gives them an insight into how something can be done better. That happens when it happens, to whomever it happens. It's not something you can magically summon up on demand with some state-granted monopoly. It happens in its own good time, patents or no patents.

You said: "You're not doing too hot, Lonnie."

Do not call me names.

The only name I called you was the one your mother gave you, for Chrissake. Meanwhile you've been more or less accusing me outright of lying!

You said: "For that claim, all you have is anecdotal evidence; a few quotes here and there. But we really don't know what those inventors might have shared anyway in a counterfactual world with no patent system."

Well, we have their words that they invested their time and money with the desire to obtain a patentable product.

In this world, where they knew they could hold out for a government-granted monopoly and probably receive one. That says nothing about how they would have acted in a world where such a monopoly was extremely unlikely to be granted them.

If you were Captain Thew standing on a boat, watching a steam shovel work, and suddenly realized how the steam shovel might be improved, but it would cost a fortune to develop with relatively limited benefit to Captain Thew, what would be his motivator to take that sort of risk without patents?

The possibility of starting his own steam shovel factory and having 80% of the market share for years before competitors began to catch up?

[calls me a liar]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You said: "Except in at least one case: alternating current. We know Steinmetz, Tesla, and Westinghouse were all closing in on that technology at around the same time. It's a virtual certainty that without any patent system or any hope of such a monopoly, at least one of the three would nonetheless have revealed it and someone (likely Edison or Westinghouse) would have commercialized it."

[calls me a liar]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

The three were working in the same area, racing to develop the same technology. Without patents any one of them might have. With them they ended up patenting things, running into one another's patents, cross-licensing, and then forming a cartel to shut out the competition. Hardly admirable behavior.

Edison was actively opposed to AC technology until more than 20 years after Tesla's first patents.

Edison is irrelevant.

It's a virtual certainty that without any patent system or hope of such a monopoly that Tesla would not have revealed the technology

Prove it. And that if he hadn't, Steinmetz also wouldn't have, or etc.

[Anonymous] > dozens of inventors have documented that they revealed their inventions specifically because they could patent them.

No doubt, but that ignores a number of very important things.

First, because the broader a patent is the easier it is to come up with it, a person who might only "invent" to get a patent (and we agree these people exist) and does so costs society for all the other people that would have invented something more advance (requiring more time) but which would fall under the scope of the broader earlier patent granted to the person that would only invent to get a patent. The result being that those with more sophisticated ideas that perhaps didn't require a patent motivation and perhaps even wanted everyone to use their invention or even those who were seeking a patent themselves now are disincentivized to create their more elaborate inventions. Society lost not only because the invention would have arisen quickly and lead to competition (lower prices and greater innovation) but because the person given the monopoly was likely the less capable person who was able to rush the broad "implementation" fastest and did not anticipate the more narrow but more advanced invention. Such a system gives a boost to those with a firm grasp only of the broader concepts. In a free market situation, these less clever folks would not build the better mousetrap, but in our patent system, they can write the broad principles down earliest and gain control over those with greater abilities requiring a bit more time.

Second, for any reward, regardless of how much society is hurt by the conditions of play, someone will be (or claim to be) willing to play only because of that reward. That these people exist does nothing to prove that the system is or is not hurtful/helpful. As an example, if I state that the winner of some monopoly board contest will gain control over the next 1,000,000 newborns, then someone will likely only play monopoly.. or play at their peak.. because of that reward. But society will suffer.

In addition to the above, the damage is aggravated for things like software because of the large size of the field of participants. Software is cheap to manufacture, distribute, etc: cheap in energy, materials, time, and costs. So, when many would otherwise participate, giving one the monopoly hurts many. This is a problem with process patents in general. The low bar to creation (only your mind and time) mean many have their progress held back for every monopoly enforced (or the wrong people are taxed). In fact, process patents, to the extent enforced, stifle the experts in an intellectual field of study who otherwise would be participating and collaborating (and clearly making a living). There is no heavy cost or risk to inventing if the invention is merely information (as is the case with software and any other form of writing, business, etc). This is why SCOTUS has recognized repeatedly that copyright law cannot cover ideas. Unfortunately, patents on digital information is not just like a copyright on ideas, but is worse because independent re-invention is not recognized, fair use hardly exists, and the breadth of scope is defined by the applicant rather than using some court standard. [OTOH, patents only affect near-term peers' careers rather than careers across several generations of humans.]

[Anonymous] > I presume that if the anti-IP crowd could prove the opposite, they would have by now.

First, the burden of proof is on those wanting to curtail individual liberties or otherwise hurt the general welfare. A minimum bar that must be met to be Constitutional is that progress be promoted. Those against the monopoly restrictions need not prove anything.

Second, I'll quote from two recent studies:

http://www.stlr.org/cite.cgi?volume=10&article=3

>> Patent systems are often justified by an assumption that innovation will be spurred by the prospect of patent protection, leading to the accrual of greater societal benefits than would be possible under non-patent systems. However, little empirical evidence exists to support this assumption.

[[from conclusion]] >> Data generated thus far using PatentSim suggest that a system combining patent and [collaboration] protection for inventions (that is, similar to modern patent systems) generates significantly lower rates of innovation (p<0.05), productivity (p<0.001), and societal utility (p<0.002) than does a commons system. These results are inconsistent with the orthodox justification for patent systems. However, they do accord well with evidence from the increasingly important field of user and open innovation.

>> there is cause for concern that the United States patent system may contravene the United States‘ Constitutional mandate -- to promote the Progress ... of useful Arts.

and http://ssrn.com/abstract=642622

>> Thus, on the one side, theoretical analysis shows how the allocation of broad patents, the extension of patentability to previously excluded fields, the extension of the duration of copyright, and the broadening of derivative rights can impede innovation; on the other, empirical studies highlight a lack of incentive effects generated by stronger intellectual property protection. In other words, the reforms undertaken since the 1980s have pushed the intellectual property system towards overprotection, which is unfavorable to innovation.


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Rights Violations Aren't the Only Bads I hear that nonsense from pro-IP people all the

Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration Yeah, I see the discouragement of working on a patented device all the time. Great examples

Music without copyright Hundreds of businessmen are looking for premium quality article distribution services that can be

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished! Moreover "the single most destructive force to innovation is patents". We'd like to unite with you

Bonfire of the Missalettes!

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? So, if our patent system was "broken," TFP of durable goods should have dropped. Conversely, since

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? I wondered about TFP, because I had heard that TFP was increasing. Apparently, it depends on who

Music without copyright I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will