Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What to Do About It (Google eBook)

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Princeton University Press, May 27, 2011 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
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The United States patent system has become sand rather than lubricant in the wheels of American progress. Such is the premise behind this provocative and timely book by two of the nation's leading experts on patents and economic innovation.

Innovation and Its Discontents tells the story of how recent changes in patenting--an institutional process that was created to nurture innovation--have wreaked havoc on innovators, businesses, and economic productivity. Jaffe and Lerner, who have spent the past two decades studying the patent system, show how legal changes initiated in the 1980s converted the system from a stimulator of innovation to a creator of litigation and uncertainty that threatens the innovation process itself.

In one telling vignette, Jaffe and Lerner cite a patent litigation campaign brought by a a semi-conductor chip designer that claims control of an entire category of computer memory chips. The firm's claims are based on a modest 15-year old invention, whose scope and influenced were broadened by secretly manipulating an industry-wide cooperative standard-setting body.

Such cases are largely the result of two changes in the patent climate, Jaffe and Lerner contend. First, new laws have made it easier for businesses and inventors to secure patents on products of all kinds, and second, the laws have tilted the table to favor patent holders, no matter how tenuous their claims.

After analyzing the economic incentives created by the current policies, Jaffe and Lerner suggest a three-pronged solution for restoring the patent system: create incentives to motivate parties who have information about the novelty of a patent; provide multiple levels of patent review; and replace juries with judges and special masters to preside over certain aspects of infringement cases.

Well-argued and engagingly written, Innovation and Its Discontents offers a fresh approach for enhancing both the nation's creativity and its economic growth.

  

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Review: Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System Is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What to Do about It

User Review  - Gabe - Goodreads

Two top experts discuss the patent system from an economics perspective and leave the reader with several tangible steps that could make the system better. A great and quick read for anyone with a ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 Todays Patent System at Work
25
Chapter 2 The Dark Side of Patents
56
Chapter 3 The Long Debate
78
Chapter 4 The Silent Revolution
96
Chapter 5 The Slow Starvation
127
Chapter 6 The Patent Reform Quagmire
151
Chapter 7 Innovation and Its Discontents
170
Notes
209
Index
229
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Adam B. Jaffe is Professor of Economics and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Brandeis University. He is the author, with Manuel Trajtenberg, of "Patents, Citations, and Innovations: A Window on the Knowledge Economy". Josh Lerner is Jacob H. Schiff professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Finance and the Entrepreneurial Management Units. His books include "The Money of Invention".

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