Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: "David H. Lynch Jr." <>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 01:16:21 -0400

What are the "Economics of Intellectual Property" ?

RSM has refered to studies in his writings sugesting the impact of IP or
atleast patents may be negative.

The justification for Intellectual property in the first place is that
it advances the useful arts, and the mechanism
by which this purportedly works is economic.

I am not asking if people have become wealthy are a result of patents,
but whether it is a zero sum game or worse.

My quick Internet search has mostly reveal bickering about the
conclusions of studies that are no more than regurgitations of beliefs
without actual data.

The debate in the EU seems to have produced several very interesting
studies - but most of these have been more like polls - who beleives
what and why than
actual analysis of data about whether patents actually produce the
results we desire. It was interesting to note that government and patent
proffesionals appear to be the only groups in the EU somewhat strongly
in favor of software patents, and most groups appear strongly opposed.

I should actually think the situation in the US might provide at least
the beginnings of some useful raw data. Software is an area of intensive
innovation over the past 5 decades. In the US there is atleast some
possibility of trying to analyze a before and after atleast in the area
of software patents.