Well, actually it likely wouldn’t save the whales. But, abolishing patents would likely re-invigorate the economy, revive competition, lower costs (particularly healthcare costs), and speed up innovation.
Levine and Boldrin help lay out the case against patents in this piece. An excerpt ( I recommend following the link):
Abolishing so-called intellectual “property” (IP) won’t solve all social ills — and it certainly won’t save the whales. But it would be a big step in the right direction for solving a range of problems from the high cost of health care, to innovating our way out of the current recession. In a series of posts with my co-author Michele Boldrin, we’ll tackle these issues one at a time.
With the exception of Japan, the rest of the world spends only about 60-70% of what we spend for prescription drugs. The European countries’ average is 60%, with some countries at around 55%.That means that simply paying what the rest of the world pays would reduce our health care bill by at least 4% – that is about 0.7% of national GDP, or roughly $100 billion.
Also, it’s worthwhile to go to their blog at