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Introduction to Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk
[Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk]

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Author Info

  • James Bessen

    (Boston University School of Law)

  • Michael J. Meurer

    (Boston University)

Abstract

In the last several 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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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in: James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer , , pages , 2008.

This item is provided by Princeton University Press in its series Introductory Chapters with number 8634-1.

Handle: RePEc:pup:chapts:8634-1

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Web page: http://press.princeton.edu

Related research

Keywords: patent system; public policy; economic performance; property rights;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Galli, Silvia, 2010. "Does intellectual monopoly stimulate or stifle innovation?," MPRA Paper 29061, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Bessen, James, 2009. "Estimates of patent rents from firm market value," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1604-1616, December.
  3. Rob Aalbers & Victoria Shestalova & Viktoria Kocsis, 2012. "Innovation policy for directing technical change in the power sector," CPB Discussion Paper 223, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Gallini, Nancy, 2010. "Private Agreements for Coordinating Patent Rights: The Case of Patent Pools," Economics working papers nancy_gallini-2010-34, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 17 Nov 2010.
  5. Chu, Angus C. & Furukawa, Yuichi, 2012. "Patents versus R&D subsidies in a Schumpeterian growth model with endogenous market structure," MPRA Paper 41083, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Sep 2012.
  6. Philippe Aghion & Paul A. David & Dominique Foray, 2007. "Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Growth: Towards Linking Policy Research and Practice in 'STIG Systems'," Discussion Papers 06-039, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Oct 2008.
  7. Johannes Koenen & Martin Peitz, 2011. "The Economics of Pending Patents," CESifo Working Paper Series 3657, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Fischer, Timo & Henkel, Joachim, 2012. "Patent trolls on markets for technology – An empirical analysis of NPEs’ patent acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1519-1533.
  9. Mohieddine Rahmouni (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Murat Yildizoglu (GREQAM, CNRS, UMR 6579), 2011. "Motivations and determinants of technological innovations. A theoretical survey (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-10, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  10. Mueller, Elisabeth & Cockburn, Iain M. & MacGarvie, Megan, 2013. "Access to intellectual property for innovation: Evidence on problems and coping strategies from German firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 529-541.
  11. Ryan, Michael P., 2010. "Patent Incentives, Technology Markets, and Public-Private Bio-Medical Innovation Networks in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1082-1093, August.
  12. Saradindu Bhaduri & Hemant Kumar, 2011. "Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations to innovate: tracing the motivation of ‘grassroot’ innovators in India," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 10(1), pages 27-55, June.
  13. Timo Fischer & Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 2011. "Debt Financing of High-growth Startups," DRUID Working Papers 11-04, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  14. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00847955 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Denicolò, Vincenzo & Halmenschlager, Christine, 2012. "Optimal patentability requirements with complementary innovations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 190-204.
  16. Gregorio Giménez, 2011. "Imitations, economic activity and welfare," Documentos de Trabajo dt2011-03, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.

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