Subject: Re: patents
From: Russ Nelson <>
Date: Tue, 9 May 2006 11:58:14 -0400

Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
 > The reason for the approval of frivolous claims is two-fold: patent
 > examiners have _by law_[1] perverse incentives (to grant, rather than
 > deny, patents, and to do so quickly) and they generally lack both
 > training and access to relevant information.  An adversarial approval
 > process solves both problems at one stroke.

Yup.  The reason a free market works so well is that customers don't
have to be experts at figuring out the correct price for a toaster.
In a competitive market, the toaster manufacturers don't have to worry
about what is the correct price.  They just know that they have to
offer a better price or product than the other manufacturers.  With
every toaster manufacturer trying to do that, you get the maximum
consumer benefit.

That's also why societies, industries, and companies where haggling
over prices is standard practice tend to be poorer than societies
where prices are fixed and posted.  That's why Quakers (who
established the fixed price system) came to America to do good, and
did very well indeed.

A more competitive patent system would create similar benefits.

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