Monday, June 6, 2016

You didn't invent that

A growing school of argument preaches that "innovation" and its significantly less important stepchild, "invention" are the inevitable byproducts of our "advanced" political-industrial complex.

For example, one recent editorial (here) warns:

"The gravest danger arising from the emphasis on “monetisation” of [our community's] traditional knowledge is that [outsider] interests will patent and monopolise benefits derived from [our community's] traditional knowledge not only elsewhere in the world but even here. This will prevent innovation based on traditional knowledge, depriving [our] society of the fruits of its own past."

It's as if all one needs to do is plant a seed, get the process rolling, turn one's head away and then look back with ingrained traditional knowledge that the seed will have inevitably taken care of itself. Provided itself with essential nutrients. Defended itself against all attacks. And sprouted into full blossom so as to be exploited by he who claims to have knowledge of the seeding event.

Where is the Little Red Hen when we need her?


post scripts:
Biographies for authors of the referenced work may be found here.


Anonymous said...

What those writers and their luminary Lemley don't acknowledge is that the culture of progress and innovation exists because there is a patent system. Countries without patents don't have that kind of culture.

A classic case is pharma, where most countries won't grant meaningful patents to new drugs, so there is not new drug development there. We here in the US do protect drug inventors and this is where the vast majority of successful pharma takes place. Then others around the world free ride on the advances here and sell the new drugs a cheaper prices. And that in turn leads to the socialist bunch arguing that consumers should be allowed to bring in cheap drugs from overseas or that US pharma companies gouge us. But if 100% of the R&D expense must be recouped from US customers because foreign patents are not available, then yes, American prices will be significantly higher than foreign prices. If that were not possible, then we would not have any pharma R&D at all. And that ain't good, Mr. Lemley.

Step Back said...

Thanks for commenting.
(I usually do not get comments on this blog)