What'S Wrong with the Patent System? Fuzzy Boundaries and the Patent Tax

James Bessen, Michael J. Meurer, Jun 28, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Article that highlights the issues caused by the current patent system. The core of the article identifies four areas of fuzziness: patent claims are hard to interpret, the can be hidden, can be issued without an actual invention, and are flooding the marketplace. It's virtually impossible to avoid infringing on a patent these days - or at least, to be accused of an infringement - and so the cost of patent litigation is essentially a tax that has been imposed by lawyers on innovators. Also from the same issue: Bringing Peer Review to Patents, by Mario Biagioli; Issues in IP Management to Support Open Access in Collaborative Innovation Models, by Sara Boettiger; and Intellectual Property and Cyberinfrastructure, by Dan L. Burk.
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