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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Patents are broken how do we fix them?

Kevin Drum says: So then, a question for people who think that software patents are out of control: what should the rule be? No patents at all on software or business processes? Probably not. But if patents aren't flatly banned on business processes, is there some kind of rule that would raise the bar in a reasonable way on just how novel something has to be to deserve a patent? I hear a lot of complaints about software and business process patents, and I'm sympathetic to them. But exactly what kind of reform would improve things?

"No patents at all on software or business processes? Probably not." Interesting that he doesn't explain why not. In the case of software patents the case for getting rid of them entirely is clear. The work of James Bessen leaves no scope for doubt.


Comments

My quick take. Patents should only be granted on specific physical devices based on real blueprints. Patents should not be granted on concepts, software, methods or anything that uses a "cloud" to describe the process.

Additionally, patents should not extend to locking our competitive products. For example, if you have an oscillating lawn sprinkler, you should not own the concept of an oscillating lawn sprinkler. Others should be able to design and patent their own versions.

About Bessen, from the site you link: "His research on software patents with Eric Maskin (Nobel Laureate in Economics) and Robert Hunt has influenced policymakers in Europe, Australia and elsewhere".

Europe and Australia well known for his buoyant software industry, compared to USA´s, where a Software Patent Law is clearly impending industry development: of the SOFTWARE TOP 100 (http://www.softwaretop100.org/global-software-top-100-edition-2010-the-highlights), 65 companies are based in USA, only 15 in the UE (which has a much bigger market by population size than USA) and possibly 0 in Australia. Elsewhere can be interpreted nowhere.

Thanks anyway for the interesting link.


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