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[News] Inherent Failure of the Patent System Explained (Espcially Software)

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News From The Ivory Tower

,----[ Quote ]
| From time to time, prominent scholars inhabiting the top floors of the ivory 
| tower like to publish their musings about the usefulness or evilness of the 
| current system of IP law. For example, even Nobel laureate Mr Eric Maskin 
| (LinkedIn) was involved in developing certain theories based on mathematical 
| models of economy according to which the patent system plays a rather 
| detrimental role. Have a look at the formulas of the Bessen/Maskin 
| mathematical model. Where is the evidence that reality in economy can be 
| mapped by such models? Should such work really be taken as a basis for any 
| actual political decisions? I am in doubt.        


Software Patents from Another Angle

,----[ Quote ]
| However, if you ask why the patent system is bad for software as opposed to 
| other things, she agrees you may have a point. As Kuhn also noted, software 
| is subject to both copyright protection and patent protection at the same 
| time. And it makes no sense to apply both schemes at once -- especially when 
| they work so differently. Copyright covers expression. Patents cover 
| functionality. Patents are used to exclude people from doing things. 
| Copyright is more enabling.      


SFLC Says Software Patents Impede Technology

,----[ Quote ]
| The writers then go on to argue that software is not patentable subject 
| matter because "it does nothing more than execute mathematical algorithms." 
| And the Supreme Court has held that algorithms, abstract concepts and the 
| like, on their own, are not patentable. (There is more to the argument, of 
| course, but that's the main point.)    



Economist Critic of Software Patents gets Nobel Prize

,----[ Quote ]
| The FFII congratulates Eric S. Maskin, an economist who has long criticised
| the patenting of software, for receiving the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics.
| Prof. Maskin and two colleagues receive the Prize for research into the
| optimal design of economic mechanisms. By applying his theory to the IT
| sector, Maskin demonstrated "that in such a dynamic industry, patent
| protection may reduce overall innovation and welfare."


Intellectual Property Regime Stifles Science and Innovation, Nobel Laureates

,----[ Quote ]
| Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede
| the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent
| thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued
| for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure
| to encourage innovation, he said.
| Another problem is that the social returns from innovation do not accord with
| the private returns associated with the patent system, Stiglitz said. The
| marginal benefit from innovation is that an idea may become available sooner
| than it might have. But the person who secures the patent on it wins a
| long-term monopoly, creating a gap between private and social returns.

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