The President in the State of the Union speech pridefully observed that America issues more patents than any other country. So what. That’s not a sign of economic vitality. It’s a sign of government giving privileged monopolies to some and allowing them to stop the march of learning, innovation, and research. Matthew Yglesias understands. John Bennett at Against Monopoly observes:
Matt Yglesias does a neat skewering of Obama’s State of the Union self-congratulatory allusion to our patents: “No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs.”link hereHe then does a riff on what would have happened if Newton had got a software patent on calculus. He would have sat on the patent “until Leibniz published his superior method and then sued the pants off anyone who tried to take a derivative without coughing up a hefty license fee.”
Yglesias manages to get in other digs over what is currently patentable and the likely lower quality of today’s patents. He concludes by noting patents do not create “property’ but rather are a regulation which creates a monopoly.
The same site earlier this week reported how patents are actually slowing and blocking progress in one of the most promising arenas of medical research, stem cell research:
One of the most promising areas for medical research are stem cells, and now that the Obama Administration has lifted many restrictions on their use, you would think this line of research would be booming. Not so according to Medindia which reports that there has been such a rush to patent in this area that research is in fact very difficult now