Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk

Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk

by James Bessen, Michael J. Meurer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691143218

ISBN-13: 9780691143217

Pub. Date: 08/03/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In recent years, business leaders, policymakers, and inventors have complained to the media and to Congress that today's patent system stifles innovation instead of fostering it. But like the infamous patent on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, much of the cited evidence about the patent system is pure anecdote--making realistic policy formation difficult. Is

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Overview

In recent years, business leaders, policymakers, and inventors have complained to the media and to Congress that today's patent system stifles innovation instead of fostering it. But like the infamous patent on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, much of the cited evidence about the patent system is pure anecdote--making realistic policy formation difficult. Is the patent system fundamentally broken, or can it be fixed with a few modest reforms? Moving beyond rhetoric, Patent Failure provides the first authoritative and comprehensive look at the economic performance of patents in forty years. James Bessen and Michael Meurer ask whether patents work well as property rights, and, if not, what institutional and legal reforms are necessary to make the patent system more effective.

Patent Failure presents a wide range of empirical evidence from history, law, and economics. The book's findings are stark and conclusive. While patents do provide incentives to invest in research, development, and commercialization, for most businesses today, patents fail to provide predictable property rights. Instead, they produce costly disputes and excessive litigation that outweigh positive incentives. Only in some sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry, do patents act as advertised, with their benefits outweighing the related costs.

By showing how the patent system has fallen short in providing predictable legal boundaries, Patent Failure serves as a call for change in institutions and laws. There are no simple solutions, but Bessen and Meurer's reform proposals need to be heard. The health and competitiveness of the nation's economy depend on it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691143217
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/03/2009
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents


Preface ix

Chapter 1: The Argument in Brief 1

Chapter 2: Why Property Rights Work, How Property Rights Fail 29

Chapter 3: If You Can't Tell the Boundaries, Then It Ain't Property 46

Chapter 4: Survey of Empirical Research: Do Patents Perform Like Property? 73

Chapter 5: What Are U.S. Patents Worth to Their Owners? 95

Chapter 6: The Cost of Disputes 120

Chapter 7: How Important Is the Failure of Patent Notice? 147

Chapter 8: Small Inventors 165

Chapter 9: Abstract Patents and Software 187

Chapter 10: Making Patents Work as Property 215

Chapter 11: Reforms to Improve Notice 235

Chapter 12: A Glance Forward 254

Notes 261

References 295

Index 315

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