October 02, 2003
IP in the NYT

Two pieces from this week's reading of the Times come recommended from this side of KJP. As usual, registration is required, and these will probably fall into the archives soon. So read now if your interest is piqued!

One, A Stroll Through Patent History covers the work of Petra Moser (available for a fee - I confess I haven't yet paid), who reviewed innovation and patent law, and the effects of the latter on the former. But instead of working just from patent records, she worked from catalogues of the innovations. Her research basically contradicts what I had initially been taught (and which appears to be a truism in the IP industries) - that strong patents promote innovation (as patents encourage the publishing of inventions with a period of protection). This has ramifications as the US IP industries lobby for stronger protections "like the American model" in other communities - not just the EU, but beyond to newly stabilizing countries and regions.

In a nice handholding of that piece is an interview with Eva Harris. A large part of Harris' work is taking techniques that lead to disease understanding and control and down-teching them for the developing world. This in effect slides around IP protections to provide social benefit in needful areas at a basic level, at costs affordable to developing countries. It's creative stuff.

Posted by esinclai at October 02, 2003 05:49 AM |