Wednesday, February 6, 2013


The current issue of the Journal of Economic Perspective has four papers on patents---and launches a "Case against Patents".

Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, in the introductory paper:
The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity ... Our preferred policy solution is to abolish patents entirely ...

I suppose this is the start of a heated debate, I'm looking forward to the discussion. In the meantime, do read the excellent esseay on the historical perspective on patents by Petra Moser in the same issue. (Did you know that the Netherlands abolished its patent system in 1869 because patents were seen as a form of protectionism and rejected as a restriction on trade?)

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