Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Patent Lawyers

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

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Listen Up; Intellectual Ventures is back as the chief patent extortionist

Mike Masnick recommends you listen to this podcast about today's preeminent Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures link here (or read the transcript link here).

It covers a lot of familiar territory but brings the facts up to date. You will be appalled. But I was pleased to see it laid out with both precision and persuasive art. Just what is needed to get some political change on patents, particularly on software patents. The courts aren't going to change the law nor repair the incredible mess they and the Patent Office have created.

Bucky Fuller indicts patents

I recently saw a play about Buckminster Fuller, an inventor, inveterate writer of mixed obscure and enlightening but wordy prose, and a teacher of considerable renown among his students and the colleges where he taught. That led me to his book Critical Path where he discusses invention and innovation. A quote: "Ideas are easy to come by; reductions to practice is an arduous but inspirationally rewarding matter."

Fuller was born in 1895 and died in 1983 and so is unlikely to be widely remembered or read today. He recounts his experience with patents, concluding that it was not worth it for inventors to get patents because of their cost and the long period between the idea and its fruition in saleable goods. He summed it up, "Most of my inventions have come into public use after my patent rights have expired."

He describes one of the major costs of protecting inventions as the patent attorneys whose services are essential because, "Vast knowledge of the precedents in court-decision history and of the patent strategy of great corporations is essential in the writing of claims."

Finally he quotes the corporate attorneys speaking to his lawyer, "Of course, the first thing my client asked me to do was to find a way of circumventing your client's patent, but you have written the claims so well that I was forced to advise my client to procure a license under your patent without exposing himself to almost certainly devastating infringement expense."

Fuller finds two truths from his experience, "... big business, which now makes its major profits out of know-how, deliberately steals know-how wealth whenever possible; the second is that if I had not taken out patents, you would probably never have heard of me ...."

He gave up on inventing for money and got his rewards from the renown of his patent disputes. So much for using his experience as justification for patents as encouraging invention.

IPWatchDog Patent Lawyer Sued by Invention Submission Corporation

Patent lawyer Gene Quinn has been sued
by Invention Submission Corporation (dba Invent Help) in the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of New York. The complaint ... alleges that I have engaged in false and misleading advertising that has cost Invent Help business. They apparently do not like the fact that I have written about invention submission scams and have recounted the many stories that I have heard from inventors who feel they have been taken advantage of by Invent Help.
Quinn is a notorious (but inarticulate and inept) defender of the patent system; see Gene Quinn: Patent Twit of the Week; Koepsell - Quinn "Debate" on Gene Patents; Gene Quinn the Patent Watchdog; Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished!. Still, it's sad to see him victimized by someone using an unjust law--these laws are basically types of IP laws, in that they are in effect based on rights in reputations. Reputation rights are not usually classified as IP rights, but they are similarly unjust, and similarly based on the idea that if you "create" "something" "of value," then you should own it--patents cover created inventions, copyright covers created works of art, and a variety of laws (trademark, defamation, misleading advertising) protect rights in one's reputation, which one is said to have "created" as well. Quinn favors people having the right to use the state courts to sue and damage people based on artificial intellectual "rights." And that's what's being done to him now.

[Mises; SK]

Patent Lawyer Mostly Agrees With Me

In response to my Reducing the Cost of IP Law, my friend and ex-colleague (and mentor) Steve Mendelsohn, a patent lawyer in Philadelphia, wrote me the following. N.B.: Steve is not a libertarian but is honest and smart, unlike patent shills (he's also an excellent patent attorney, if you need one). Here's an edited version of his comments, posted with his permission (for comments from another honest patent lawyer, see here):
I agree with much of what you say and don't necessarily disagree with most of the rest. For example, I agree with you that we don't know whether the patent system is doing what it says it's doing as far as adding more than it's subtracting. (You might know the answer to that question, but I agree that "we" don't know.) I do believe that the system can be significantly improved without getting rid of it completely. Again, it is possible that the world would be better off without a patent system, but I'd rather see it improved first. (I think that our federal government needs a lot of improvement, too, but that doesn't mean that no government is better. I can't help but look at Somalia as an example of a country with no centralized government. But perhaps you've got a better example to point to.) (For now, I'd better stick to patents per se and not use them as a metaphor for government in general.) To me, the biggest problem with the current U.S. patent system is the granting of patents for inventions that are not novel and non-obvious due to the incompetence of the U.S. patent office. Just last week I was advising a client that I didn't think that their invention was patentable. I had to qualify my advice by explaining that that did not mean that I didn't think we could get a patent for the invention, just that I thought we shouldn't be able to get a patent for the invention. I can't tell you, but I suspect you've experienced this yourself many times, how many patent applications I've prosecuted over the years where I get the U.S. patent issued only to have the European, Japanese, or Korean patent office subsequently find better prior art and apply that art with a more-accurate understanding and appreciation about what it takes for there to be a patentable improvement over that art. The result is either an issued foreign patent with claims of much-reduced scope or an abandoned foreign patent application. Either way, there remains an issued, presumptively valid U.S. patent of unknown value. The presumption of validity is legitimate only if the U.S. patent office is doing a good job. Since the U.S. patent office is not doing a good job, I agree with you that the presumption of validity should be eliminated.

For years I have been wondering what the EPO, JPO, and KIPO are doing right that the USPTO is not and why can't the USPTO look and see what the EPO, JPO, and KIPO are doing to figure it out and then adopt it. It reminds me of the time that Bush's first crony appointment to head the PTO came to our PIPLA meeting and told us "We've got the best patent office in the world." In reality, we wouldn't even get the bronze metal. Our typical American chauvinism prevents us from looking elsewhere for improvement.

I am one of those many patent lawyers who would hate to have to provide search results and explain how my clients' inventions were patentable over those search results. Nevertheless, perhaps the default (an invention is assumed to be patentable until the patent office proves otherwise) needs to be reversed.

Until the PTO gets its act together, one way to challenge some of these bad patents is through the ex parte reexamination procedure. It's certainly not perfect and not free, but I'd bet it's a lot cheaper than litigation as a way to defeat bad patents on a case by case basis. I'm only now in the midst of working on my first ex parte reexam for a client who is trying to knock out a competitor's bad patent. The particular claim at issue is incredibly ridiculous. The client managed to knock out claims (in a first reexam) directed to a particular type of device having [an Oscillator Type A], a particular configuration for oscillators that has been around for about 60 years. The remaining claim is directed to devices that do exactly the same thing using [an Oscillator Type B], another particular configuration for oscillators that has been around for about 80 years! Because the main reference didn't happen to discuss [an Oscillator Type A], the Examiner allowed those claims, presumably without any knowledge or appreciation for the interchangeability of those different types of oscillators. It's too early to tell whether we will prevail.

Steve Mendelsohn Mendelsohn, Drucker, & Associates, P.C.

[Mises; SK]


For $100 I could license a copy for this website but only for 12 months. So I'm linking to the image instead.

"Patent Professionals" and Patent Policy

In Survey of the Disruptive Impact of a First-to-File Switch, and on his facebook page, patent attorney and law professor Dennis Crouch asks "patent professionals" to "Please Respond to my Survey on Switching US Law to a First-to-File System."

I'm trying to figure out why we should care what patent attorneys, of all people, think about patent policy. Why is there an assumption that their opinions on patent policy are especially relevant? If anything, patent professional are biased because of built-in incentives to favor maintaining a patent system. They are not objective at all. And training in engineering and law school in no way provides one with any special knowledge of policy or ethics issues. By analogy, do we care what an IRS agent thinks the tax rates should be?

Gene Quinn: Patent Twit of the Week

Excellent post by Kevin Carson, Gene Quinn: Patent Twit of the Week, criticizing patent attorney-shill Gene Quinn's "arguments" for patents.

Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished!

In his post Reality Check: Anti-Patent Patent Musings Simply Bizarre, patent attorney Gene Quinn is baffled that any patent attorney would openly oppose the patent system--or be hired by anyone. He writes, in part:
But what has me really wondering is how and why a patent attorney who is openly hostile to the patent system can get any work in the industry? Why would any inventor or company want an anti-patent patent attorney like Stephan Kinsella, who seems to be the genesis of this story, and so many other anti-patent patent stories.
Why would anyone hire me? I've prosecuted hundreds of patents. I've taught computer law as an adjunct law professor, I've published a great deal of legal scholarship including IP law, such as the Oxford University Press legal treatise Trademark Practice and Forms. I believe that given the patent system, tech companies have no choice but to arm themselves with patents, if only for defensive purposes. If someone went after one of my clients for patent infringement, I'd pull out all the stops to defend them from this state-backed threat. Maybe some clients like a patent attorney looking out for their interests.

Apparently Quinn thinks ideological conformity is a requirement for job competence. If you have the wrong politics, you're out. (I just hope I don't have the wrong religion, gender, or race.) But think about it: would you hire only oncologists who were pro-cancer? Is it outlandish to think of hiring a tax attorney to defend you from the IRS who thinks the income tax is immoral and should be abolished? Is it required of a patent attorney to be in favor of the patent system? Yes, we patent attorneys learn the patent law and how to navigate the system. Does that mean we receive special education--or is it propaganda--as to the justifiability of IP? If so, where is it? Sure, we are taught in law school that the stated purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, and public disclosure of inventions. Okay. So what? How does knowing the state's line for a given law prove that it is justified?

The truth is most patent attorneys are in favor of patent law. Why is this? They have no special knowledge about its normative validity. Rather, they are self-interested, and have been subjected to positivist, statist, empiricist propaganda in law school. Quinn tries to turn this defect into an advantage by hogging to the biased patent profession the right to pronounce on these matters--and then ejecting from the profession anyone who bucks the union line. The patent bar of course lobbies for the system that butters their bread. They claim special knowledge to pronounce that the system is "necessary" for innovation, even though they have no proof of this. (See below.) They marginalize non-lawyers as not having enough expertise to weigh in. And anyone who does have expertise is ostracized if they point out that the emperor is wearing no clothes. They remind of leftists who will not tolerate an African American who opposes affirmative action--they impose their supposed "benefit" on him by force, which is bad enough, and then use this imposed "benefit" to silence his criticisms of it. Terrible. (See An Anti-Patent Patent Attorney? Oh my Gawd!.)

But though patent practitioners have an interest in promoting the system that supports them--just as FDA bureaucrats support the FDA, just as government school teachers tend to be in favor of government schooling, just as policemen and state judges are in favor of the state's monopoly over justice--not all are won over by the propanda. Some just chug along, earning a living, while ignoring the cheerleading about how great our patent system is. In fact, I am not the only patent attorney who opposes the patent system. My friend Tony Diehl, a registered patent attorney, is opposed to it, and knows what a state boondoggle it is. As I noted in The Morality of Acquiring and Enforcing Patents, law professor Michael Davis, also a registered patent attorney, opposes the patent system (for leftist reasons, I believe, unlike my own pro-property, libertarian reasons--but still); and Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) and Legal Director of Software Freedom Law Center, and also a registered patent attorney, appears to be opposed to patents or at the very least has serious reservations. And no doubt many patent attorneys know the standard justifications given for the system are nonsense, but they don't speak out because there is nothing to be gained from this except denunciations from cheerleaders like Quinn who will try to harm their livelihoods by telling clients not to hire them. So many are anonymous. As I wrote in Miracle--An Honest Patent Attorney!, I received at one point an email from a respected patent attorney, a senior partner in the patent department of a major national law firm. He/she insisted on anonymity--gee, I wonder why? He/she is not a libertarian. These are just his/her honest observations based on his/her long experience in the field:

Stephan, Your letter responding to Joe Hosteny's comments on Patent Trolls nicely states what I came to realize several years ago, namely, it is unclear that the U.S. Patent System, as currently implemented, necessarily benefits society as a whole. Certainly, it has benefited [Hostey] and his [partners] and several of their prominent clients, and has put Marshall, Texas on the map; but you really have to wonder if the "tax" placed on industry by the System (and its use of juries or lay judges to make the call on often highly complex technical issues that the parties' technical experts cannot agree on) is really worth it. Of course, anyone can point to a few start-up companies that, arguably, owe their successes to their patent portfolios; but over the last 35 years, I have observed what would appear to be an ever increasing number of meritless patents, issued by an understaffed and talent-challenged PTO examining group, being used to extract tribute from whole industries. I have had this discussion with a number of clients, including Asian clients, who have been forced to accept our Patent System and the "taxes" it imposes on them as the cost of doing business in the USA. I wish I had the "answer". I don't. But going to real opposition proceedings, special patent courts with trained patent judges, "loser pays attorney fees" trials, retired engineers/scientists or other experienced engineers/scientists being used to examine applications in their fields of expertise by telecommuting from their homes or local offices throughout the Country, litigating patent attorneys providing regular lectures to the PTO examiners on problems encountered in patent infringement cases due to ineffective or careless examination of patent applications, and the appointment of actually qualified patent judges to the CAFC, may be steps in the right direction.
Now this is an honest patent attorney. As I told him/her,
What is worse, to me, is when patent attorneys pretend to know, but of course, do not--and they know they do not, and they do not care. It is just dishonest. I don't mind a patent attorney being in favor of the system for the honest reason that it benefits him and his clients. Just like retired people benefit from social security even if it's an inefficient or unethical system. Or if patent attorneys just did their job and shut up about the "benefit" of the system. I will say that my point (not really in the letter, but expressed elsewhere -- e.g., There's No Such Thing As A Free Patent) is not only that is the system now probably "not worth it," but that due to the subjective nature of value, it would never be possible to demonstrate that it is "worth it". But that is a methodological point beyond most patent attorneys, who are utterly imbued with scientism and positivism.
And I have other patent attorney friends who skeptical as well. I've had dozens of conversations with patent attorneys, many of whom are mouthing the standard pro-patent line. I simply ask them, how do you know we need a patent system? How do you know the benefits accruing from it are greater than the costs of the system? What are these benefits, in dollar terms, what are the costs, and what is the net? I am always met with blank stares.

But let's return now to Quinn's screed:

My intention is not to get into a back and forth joust with those who believe the patent system does not spur innovation. In my experience there is simply no talking to people who hold those beliefs. They will hold those beliefs forever despite any and all evidence to the contrary, despite the laws of economics, the sensibilities and demands of investors and with total disregard for history itself.
It is in fact quite the reverse. Patent lawyers repeat over and over the state's propaganda that IP is necessary for innovation. They believe that we are made overall better off by the patent system. This means that the value of the extra innovation spurred by having a patent system far outweighs the undeniable costs of the system. Okay--then what are these numbers? What is the net benefit of the patent system? Is it a billion dollars? A trillion? How does Quinn know it's not negative? If he knows it's a positive number, what is his evidence for this? I don't know the costs. I don't know the value of the benefits. (My educated guess is that the net cost is over $41 billion per year. But who knows?) I do know that every study that comes out concludes otherwise (see my post Yet Another Study Finds Patents Do Not Encourage Innovation). They are the ones in favor of the granting of state monopolies. The burden is on them, not on opponents. So where is their evidence?

They don't pretend to know. They don't take this seriously. They don't have any idea of the costs, or the benefits, or the net. They don't care about the costs--costs (patent lawyers' salaries, say) are benefits to them, you see. They most they will do is trot out some off-the-cuff, non-serious remark that western countries are more prosperous and have patent systems; or we have had economic growth in America, coinciding with the patent system's implementation. Wow. How rigorous. Never heard of the idea that correlation is not causation? Maybe the pro-property industrialized countries tend to tax and war and regulate and impose patent systems because they can afford it. (See Interactive Graphic Pretends to Illustrate How U.S. Patent System Has Driven American Economy; Prove that would have been invented without patents!.)

Back to Quinn:

Yet, I have to confess at being extremely interested in knowing how a patent attorney could come to such beliefs. Kinsella is used as a propaganda tool by anti-patent folks everyone who point out "even a patent attorney knows patents stifle innovation." How is it possible that a patent attorney could believe that innovation would occur faster without patents?
The truth is we anti-IP libertarians have sincere, serious, good reasons to believe patent rights are false rights that do harm. See, e.g., my The Libertarian Case Against Intellectual Property: A Concise Guide; and other libertarian IP publications. If anything, my experience in the patent field shows me how much waste there is. It shows me what a threat to free enterprise patents are. It shows me that larger companies are just using this latest state monopoly grant as a tool to bludgeon smaller companies.

Quinn then disingenuously argues that if you are against patents, you are against technology:

The truth is that every civilization that dominated had advanced technology and innovation when compared with competing civilizations. Whether there were patents or not, advanced technology and innovation is something to be aspired to. Rather than choosing to tax the people and require free labor by unfortunate classes of people our nation has evolved to tap into one of the most fundamental and powerful motivation forces greed! Because of greed individuals, investors and companies will devote substantial amounts of time, energy and funding to come up with whatever is next, whatever is better and whatever will make them money. If we don't want a patent system and we still want the jobs innovation creates, the lifestyle advances that innovation creates and the life-saving drugs and treatments that innovation creates we need to dig deep into the greed gene and exploit it.
Yes, "greedy," self-interested behavior is fine and good. I'm in favor. I'm a libertarian, after all. The problem with patents is not that they are too capitalistic: it's that they are state privileges that intrude on the free market. I oppose patents because they undercut private property rights, not because they are private property rights.

And of course, technology and innovation is good. The mistake here is thinking there is market failure: that without the state's interventions, there won't be enough innovation. How anyone can honestly think the state can intervene and make things better is beyond me.

... I find it flat out bizarre that anyone could be of the opinion that patents stifle innovation. The truth is patents stifle innovation by the lazy, who would have never innovated anyway. Innovating is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for the lazy, so why do we at all care what the anti-patent zealots think would happen in an unrealistic fantasy world where everyone simply works hard for the betterment of mankind and to assist others without regard to their own well-being or financial interest.
If Quinn does not understand why people can believe patents stifle innovation, he can do a bit of reading. He can start with the list of study after study concluding otherwise, collected in Yet Another Study Finds Patents Do Not Encourage Innovation; then he can read my The Libertarian Case Against Intellectual Property: A Concise Guide; and for a detailed examination of the utilitarian aspects of patents and why they discourage innovation, he can see Boldrin and Levine's magisterial Against Intellectual Monopoly (free version online).

As for lazy--was RIM lazy when it heroically innovated and provided the magnificent Blackberry to tens of millions of customers, only to have over $600M extorted from it by a patent thug? Is the ever-innovating young company Facebook "lazy"--if they don't pony us hundreds of millions of hush money to the patent predator nipping at it? Or is it rather than larger companies can rest on their laurels, protected from competition from smaller, hungrier startups, because their arsenal of patents allows them to achieve detente by thread of MAD with other, large, patent-hoarding companies, but to threaten startups who don't usually have strong patent portfolios?

Update: I and others posted several good comments to the thread Reality Check: Anti-Patent Patent Musings Simply Bizarre. Quinn has posted a followup: Responding to Critics: My View on Patents & Innovation. His post makes it clear that it's not worth responding to him any more.

Update 2: Good post by Mike Masnick on Techdirt: Is It So Crazy For A Patent Attorney To Think Patents Harm Innovation?

[SK cross-post; Mises cross-post]

Are Libertarians For Intellectual Property?: Comment on David Koepsell's "Why I Believe Gene Patenting is Wrong"

My comment on the debate between Randy Mayes and David Koepsell on human gene patents at the IEET was posted in "Are Libertarians for Intellectual Property?" (Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Aug. 26, 2009:

Mr. Koepsell,

I read with interest your comments above criticizing IP from a self-professed libertarian perspective. I am a libertarian and a practicing patent attorney and I too oppose patent rights (one of the few patent attorneys who dare to)--patents are, as you say, unnatural and artificial privileges granted by the state at the expense of real property rights. My website contains various articles, books, and speeches on this topic, including Against Intellectual Property, and my recent speech "Intellectual Property and Libertarianism." I'm also affiliated with the Mises Institute, so I suppose Mr. Mayes has my work in mind when he unfairly, uncharitably, and falsely disparages and dismisses us as "idealogues."

I heartily agree with you when you write that you are "consistently confused by "libertarians" who support a government-sponsored monopoly of any kind" and that patents "are the grant by a government of an artificial monopoly of the practice or sale of a useful art or product."

Given that you recognize this, it is not clear why you seem to draw back (at least in this post; I have not yet read your book, which I intend to do) from a more sweeping critique of patents in general. E.g., you write, "IP laws only conflict with notions of justice when they impinge on some other, grounded right, as I argue they do with the genetic commons." IP laws always impinge on property rights. That is their purpose and nature.

I must say I sympathize with your comments about conflicts of interest on the side of IP advocates--isn't it striking that almost every patent lawyer or big company that benefits from this state monopoly is in favor of the practice? You are right: the patent industry benefits patent lawyers, so of course they tend to mindlessly repeat the state propaganda that supports their profession's existence.

As for Mr. Mayes's comments, he writes:

"Your confusion related to libertarianism and what libertarians think is probably due to several reasons. What libertarians think is not universal. Libertarians at the Ludwig von Mises Institute are ideologues. They do not want the state involved period, so this provides an argument against patenting DNA for them. Civil libertarians are complaining about freedom of speech restrictions from patenting DNA, which is a week argument.

"Pragmatic or mainstream libertarians housed at the Cato Institute and CEI are interested in IP as an extension of individual rights. Ayn Rand regarded IP as the base of all property rights: a man's right to the product of his mind. In the process, freedom of speech issues arise as well as the monopoly issue which create the confusion. Since the right to own property is the most fundamental right for mainstream libertarians, this overrides the speech and monopoly issues."

Well, as for free speech, I grant you that it is more endangered by another state-granted pattern-privilege, patent law's cousin, copyright (see my post Book Banning Courtesy of Copyright Law). Some Cato scholars support IP rights, but not all (see the work of Tom Palmer, for example--are they idealogues too, now?). Ayn Rand's defense of IP was seriously confused, and she would never have granted that IP so important that it "overrides" "speech and monopoly issues." IP rights are not an extension of property rights; they quite obviously undercut and invade property rights--a patent gives a right to its holder to legally force someone else not to use their own property as they see fit.

As for the repeated claims by various defenders of IP and critics of Mr. Koepsell to the effect that patent protection is "needed" to "incentivize" various forms of innovation--Mr. Holman in his review refers to "the important role gene patents have played in incentivizing the development of life-saving therapeutics" as if this is obvious and uncontroversial--this is the same old bankrupt utilitarian reasoning that is triply flawed. First, as I point out in Against Intellectual Property, utilitarianism is morally flawed--you could justify all sorts of horrible policies, including legalized theft, this way; and it is methodologically flawed since it is based on the unscientific notion that utility can be cardinally measured and interpersonally compared (the insights of Austrian economics shows that this is not the case).

But even if we ignore the ethical and other problems with the utilitarian or wealth-maximization approach, it is bizarre that utilitarians are in favor of IP when they have not demonstrated that IP does increase overall wealth. They merely assume it does (or say they assume it does) and then base their policy views on this assumption. It is beyond dispute that the IP system imposes significant costs, in money terms alone not to mention liberty costs. The argument that the incentive provided by IP law stimulates additional innovation and creativity has not even been proven. It is entirely possible even likely, in my view that the IP system, in addition to imposing billions of dollars of cost on society, actually reduces or impedes innovation, adding damage to damage (see my post What are the Costs of the Patent System?).

But even if we assume that the IP system does stimulate some additional, valuable innovation, no one has established yet that the value of the purported gains is greater than the costs of the system. If you ask an advocate of IP how they know there is a net gain, you get silence (this is especially true of patent attorneys). They cannot even point to any study to support their utilitarian contention; they usually point to Art I, 8 of the Constitution, as if the back-room dealings of politicians two centuries ago is some sort of evidence. In fact, as far as I've been able to tell, virtually every study that attempts to tally the costs and benefits of copyright or patent law either concludes that these schemes cost more than they are worth; or that they actually reduce innovation; or the study is inconclusive. There are no studies showing a net gain (see my post "Yet Another Study Finds Patents Do Not Encourage Innovation"; and, in this connection, I also highly recommend Boldrin and Levine's Against Intellectual Monopoly and their blog Against Monopoly, to which I contribute).

Instead, we hear repetitions of propaganda trotted out by the state to justify its artificial legislative schemes. But the truth is that anyone who accepts utilitarianism should, based on the available evidence, be opposed to IP. That they are not is telling--it is like those who claim to be environmentalists or fret about "global warming" but never advocate nuclear power, the obvious solution to the "problems" they pretend to be worried about.

Update: Interesting, I noticed you quoted one of your correspondents as having written "I spoke before the Pennsylvania Bar Association IP Section in Philly in 2007 and introduced them to the ontology of IP and social reality (used computers and software to make my points) and was greeted as a Galileo"--

I lived and worked in Philly in the late 90s and was a member of the IP section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association an indeed Founding editor (1997) of the PBA IP Law Newsletter (and Editor-in-Chief till 1999), I published in that journal an article entitled "Is Intellectual Property Legitimate?" (Winter 1998, later republished in the Federalist Society's newsletter).

Update II: A patent attorney who gets it!

[Cross-posted at StephanKinsella.com]

Against Monopoly

via Melody Walker: a nice article in Business Week about law professor John Duffy. He seems to be of two minds about patents: he wants everything to be patentable but better standards of non-obviousness. I'd agree with the latter.

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