Subject: Re: "incentive void" (was Re: A different patent covenant...)
From: Craig Brozefsky <>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2006 14:46:00 -0500

<> writes:

> That's the whole difficulty here.  Patents are not really about
> rewarding world-class innovations; as we have known for generations,
> those are their own reward, in fame, in fortune, or both.  The point
> is rather to provide incentive for documenting, accumulating, and
> promoting a large mass of small innovations.

That is an new insight for me, thanx.

> Of course no incentive is provided by rewarding innovations that
> have already happened, or that are *immediately* obvious to any
> practitioner.  But once you've cleared those bars, the market
> created by the patent gets the direction right ---the innovations
> that most hurt when you have to pay a high license fee are precisely
> the ones making the biggest contribution to society.

However, I could not parse the last sentence.  Could you restate it

> It's still a monopoly, and therefore still pernicious.  But the patent
> system does, in theory, address a set of problems that no other
> proposal I've seen does.  These need to be compared to the costs.

You admonished me to calculate the costs in another thread.  I
attempted to describe a model of the dynamics -- which is what I was
basing my original statement that "so much friction, so little benefit
to so narrow a class".  I would like to see if we could come to some
agreement about how to calculate that cost.

Sincerely, Craig Brozefsky <>
"Do you want to live forever?"       -- Valeria