State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

White House Proposes Innovation Prizes

According to Information Week Government, the White House is encouraging innovation prizes.  Innovation prizes have always been the substitute for a patent system as a way of spurring inventions.  Unfortunately, they tend to become politicized and are much more expensive than a patent system.  For instance, see the excellent book Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time.  In that case, the brilliant clock maker was squeezed out of winning the prize for accurately determining longitude by the politically more connected astronomy community.  The patent system is self funded and provides infinitely more return than innovation prizes, such as the NSF, NIH, etc.  Unfortunately, Congress has stolen over $1Billion in user fees from the Patent Office over the last couple of decades.  As a result, the Patent Office is understaffed and now takes around three years to provide an initial examination of a patent application.  Instead of spending money on innovation prizes, the White House should return the $1Billion in user fees with interest back to the patent office.

March 17, 2010 - Posted by dbhalling | Innovation | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Aha. We finally have a clear cut definition of “innovation” from none other than Senator Patrick Leahy:

    “Innovation” is as innovation does by adding positively to my campaign war chest in term$ of gue$$ what.

    Here is the give away paragraph:

    “Innovation [a.k.a. corps. that are good to me] has [/have] been impeded in recent years by a patent system that too often grants low-quality patents [to their competitors] with overly broad claims [to their competitors], which have been used by opportunists [a.k.a. their competitors]to extort royalty fees from manufacturers [a.k.a. the good guy corps. that are good to me] — particularly in the high-tech sector. The problem of low-quality patents is exacerbated by a [patent] litigation system that yields unpredictable [results against corps. that are good to me]and often overcompensating damages determinations [to their evil competitors], which divert investment and resources from ‘innovation’ [a.k.a. corps. that are good to me].”

    Comment by step back | March 23, 2010 | Reply

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