From Rafael Magri
Today I was reading a book called "The Omnivore's Dilema" and came accross
something that I believe could be useful in your line of research (and I
don't remember reading about it anywhere else).
In the book, some executive from General Mills is quoted saying that
recipes are not intellectual property. So, all you can get is a few months
head start with some new product, time enough to establish a brand.
So, if the processes food industry is innovative enough, this fits nicely
with the thesis that patents may be unecessary.
Cecil Quillen points us to the Partnership for American Innovation
an organization devoted to making sure nobody ever innovates again...
Not all innovations are patented, and the question of how many is fundamental to understanding what is going on. Cecil Quillen points us to a careful new paper by R. Fontana, A. Nuvolari, H. Shimizu, A. Vezzulli
attaching the issue.
Sadly patent trolls really do inhibit innovation: new research from Catherine Tucker
. (Thanks to Jim Bessen and Cecil Quillen for this.)
The way the patent system functions is very different than people imagine. In early stages of a new technology growing the market is crucial - and encouraging competitors much more important than trying to suppress them. Hence patents can play only a negative role.
has figured this out: especially interesting to read is how Elon Musk's thinking about patents evolved as he came to understand how different is the reality from the rhetoric.
Larry Lessig is says we should ask politicians just one question "What will you do to end this corruption?" I'm not sure I will trust their answers, but it is a good question. You find the details and help him here
As Congress gets ready to pass a greatly watered down patent reform act - watered down largely due to the lobbying of the two biggest patent trolls, IBM and Microsoft - and the Supreme Court begins to contemplate abolishing software patents, there are a few other news items.
First, there is the letter of Cecil D. Quillen, Jr. whose efforts on behalf of patent reform we have mentioned here before. Needless to say, despite the thoughtful comments he has received little response.
Next, Salvatore Modica send us this link to an article documenting how patents on the human genome have reduced research in the area. There is a message here, especially for people like Andrew Sullivan who exaggerate the role of pharmaceutical companies in saving their lives.
Finally I'd like to draw attention to the excellent paper of Bessen and Nuvolari in which they nail the reason for widespread knowledge sharing: the existence of a competing existing technology.
Are you familiar with the ISBN? A unique identifier issued by the U.S. Government to identify books? Did you know that the U.S. Government has granted a private company Bowker
a monopoly over issuing them? They are very proud of it...as if it is a good thing!