Re: Patents

From: Eric Watt Forste (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 17:16:10 MST

Robin Hanson, 1999 December 23, wrote:
> I think patents just don't make as big a difference as either proponents
> or opponents think. Proponents are just wrong to think that innovation
> would drastically decline without patents; areas without patents have
> plenty of innovation. But opponents are also wrong to deny that there
> are times and places where limited patents promote innovation.

Many libertarian opponents do not deny that limited patents
occasionally promote innovation; instead, they are asking
whether or not court-enforceable grants of monopoly are an
acceptable /means/ by which to promote innovation.

In our wider society, remember, many people do /not/ want to see
innovation artificially promoted, because they are more attuned
to problems of cultural dislocation produced by past innovation
than they are to the side of the coin we prefer to focus on.

Eric Watt Forste <>

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