What to do with patents

Are patents vital for R&D and innovation? The answer is no. Time to overhaul patent law? Patents are one of the most talked about instruments to protect and promote inventions and innovation. Patents give innovators a temporary monopoly over a new, potentially commercial product or process. Instead of leaving pioneers competing openly with their creations, rents stemming from the monopoly scheme are in place to make the whole activity – from R&D to market -, financially attractive. In exchange, patent holders must make technical information about the invention publicly available in the patent document. MIT Economist Daron Acemoglu says that patents and patent enforcement were the bedrock of innovation of the past 100 years. He claims that patent enforcement to […]