The Independent Institute

 
        

The Benefits of Intellectual Property Protection »

If there is one thing about which libertarians are never likely to agree, it is whether intellectual property—patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets—should receive the same legal protection as physical property. Without wading too deep into the philosophical debate, but showing my colors as an IP advocate, let me share some new research published...
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Patent Reform Is Not a Left Wing Thing »

Over at R Street, Zach Graves has a good piece up looking at the American Conservative Union’s opposition to patent reform pending in the Congress. He points out that the sponsors of the much maligned legislation are not looney leftists, but solid leaders on the Right. The American Conservative Union’s own scorecard ranks members sponsoring...
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Patent Trolls Still Alive and Kicking »

Over at Techdirt, there is a good story up on how a patent troll attacked a startup and the litigation costs so distressed the startup that it was forced to sell out to another patent troll. Peter Braxton created Jump Rope Inc., and developed an app that allows users to pay a fee to...
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Shifting from Quantity to Quality in Patent Applications »

VentureBeat has published a good piece on how “innovators are now moving away from creating untargeted, mass-produced innovations that aim only to secure as many patents as possible, and they’re moving toward precise innovation centered around specific product and market needs.” The American patent system has long been suffering the consequences of the issuance of...
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Why Don’t You Own Your Own Health Information? »

David Brailer, MD, was the first head of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC), appointed by President George W. Bush. Today, he is a venture capitalist. Last week in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Brailer noted that a law passed in 1996 governs our access to health information. Clearly,...
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A Case for Patent Reform »

For many decades most economists believed patents were key to the innovation and material progress enjoyed by the West. In recent years, however, many have looked at patents with growing skepticism, with some even suggesting that the patent system be scrapped. In contrast, economist Arthur M. Diamond Jr. (Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha) believes...
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NSA’s Keystone Kops Play Kryptos Kristmas Kwiz at Our Peril »

The Cloud is not secure. This not-surprising news is among the revelations from further exploration of the Snowden archives in an article posted at Spiegel. Among the investigation’s conclusions: the U.S. government and its allies—the so-called Five Eyes alliance, made up of the secret services of Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United...
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New Study Links Patent Trolls to Decline in R&D Spending and Other Ills »

A new paper (“Patent Trolls: Evidence from Targeted Firms”) written by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Texas offers more evidence of the harm that patent trolls cause to the American economy. The data show that (1) trolls target companies flush with cash, (2) seek targets likely to settle rather than litigate, and (3)...
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Patent Trolls: Their Threat to U.S. Innovation—and the Solutions »

A menace is threatening technological innovation in America: the menace of patent trolls. Their modus operandi: Patent trolls make money—big money—through litigation, rather than by creating and selling products or services themselves. Typically, they acquire an overly broad patent and then lie in wait as the market for the patented product or service develops...
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“Prize-Grants” or Patents for Pharmaceutical Innovation? »

Over at the American Enterprise Institute’s online magazine, Arnold Kling has proposed “prize-grants” in favor of patents for pharmaceutical research. Kling dislikes patents: Patents have always been a problematic way to promote innovation. They raise prices of products far above marginal cost. They impose legal costs involved in obtaining, attacking, and defending patents. They...
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