OT: Innovation and Patents.

Dan Stovall dbstovall at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 07:56:43 MDT 2005

<devil's advocate>
>From your example, those who support the patent system the way it is
currently setup would argue that the iris recognition system would
likely never have been invented unless the patent was there to protect
the invention of the company that invested the resources in R&D to
create it.  Of course there will be more innovation on the idea once
the patent expires and more people are able to make use of the idea.
</devil's advocate>

Personally, I don't really buy that argument.  I just don't think that
there is any real data that backs it up.  And there are plenty of
examples where people have created something just to make it, without
the promise of patents or copyrights to protect them (GNU/Linux being
the prime example).  Sure in todays corporate climate there may be
many things that wouldn't happen without the protection of patents,
but when does too much protection become stiffling?  I don't know the
answer, but I think whatever it is, we have already passed it by.


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