The Atlantic: ‘The Case for Abolishing Patents (Yes, All of Them)’

Jordan Weissmann, writing for The Atlantic:

Critics have suggested plenty of reasonable reforms, from eliminating software patents to clamping down on “trolls” who buy up patent portfolios only so they can file lawsuits. But do we need a more radical solution? Would we be possibly be better off without any patents at all?

That’s the striking suggestion from a Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working paper by Michele Boldrin and David Levine, professors at Washington University in St. Louis who argue that any patent system, no matter how well conceived, is bound to devolve into the kind of quagmire we’re dealing with today.

Not going to happen here in the U.S., alas, but we can dream. (Via John Siracusa.)

Saturday, 29 September 2012