The root cause
Posted Jul 5, 2012 23:56 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata
In reply to: The root cause
Parent article: Akademy: Defensive publications
When competitors merely copy instead of working their own innovations, they do not have the same solid background of understanding and cannot use the copied knowledge to leapfrog the originator.
I assume you're implying that a competitor will innovate instead of copy because of this. I don't see why - you can make a great business out of copying, because even if your production expenses are higher and your quality lower than if you had invented it yourself, you're saving a ton of money on the inventing.
Further, the harder the research that produced the patent, the more important the patent, so we are told, but this also means that copying is that much harder too
I don't see the connection between hardness of research and of copying.
I believe there exist very profitable businesses in copying without innovating, either by crooks or by offshore people not subject to patents.
The best example I can think of is a drug. It typically costs $200 million dollars to invent one -- doing all the testing required to prove it is safe and effective, and the copier can skip all of that and generate the same molecule. The inventor would need a 10-20 year head start get that investment back and the copier can probably be on the market in a less than a year. So which would you choose, if you legally could: to be an inventor or a copier?
As for innovation existing before patents did, I don't think anyone is arguing lack of patents would extinguish all innovation, and that doesn't help with the question, "would people innovate as much today if there weren't patents as they do with them?"
to post comments)