Glimrende anti-patent indlæg på TechDirt.
So what does the evidence show? I had been working out a list of all the research to include in this post when I saw that James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer had written up part of a summary of their new book, Patent Failures, which we had mentioned recently. The summary goes through much of the peer reviewed research that I had been planning to mention on the impact (good and bad) of patents, and reveals a rather consistent finding: there is almost no evidence that patents help promote the progress. Specifically:Posted by Claus at March 21, 2008 03:02 PM | TrackBack (0)"it is hard to find evidence suggesting patents are a major factor spurring R&D investment, that patents contribute to economic growth, or even that the patent system is a source of great wealth to important inventors and innovators."
What they find, instead, is that whenever there's a correlation between increased research and development and patents, it's a reverse causality. That is, greater patent protection trails greater research and development. Greater patent protection, however, does not increase research and development. What that clearly suggests is that stronger patent systems are put in place after the research and development is done, in order to protect those who did the work against competition, not to spur further innovation.