Thursday, March 24, 2016
How Patent Law Impedes Scientific Discovery
Its refreshing to find something interesting that is not about terrorism or US politics. This article argues that scientific discovery depends upon the free exchange of ideas. Most big discoveries occur through a process in which lots of small ideas lead scientists to develop insights that would not otherwise have happened. Patent laws and intellectual property rights promote secrecy. Universities are awarded intellectual property rights that derive from government funded research. Those IP rights can be worth billions. That gives scientists an incentive to maintain secrecy so that other scientists don't beat them in the race for patents.