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Capitalism And The Patent System

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Guest BoomBoomCrash

I'm curious about the views held with regard to patents by the free market defenders here.

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I'm curious about the views held with regard to patents by the free market defenders here.

Patents and copyright are government-mandated monopolies: how could they exist in a free market?

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
Patents and copyright are government-mandated monopolies: how could they exist in a free market?

They are, but they fulfil a need within what most people would term a 'free market'.

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They are, but they fulfil a need within what most people would term a 'free market'.

Maybe you could explain that in English, because I'm afraid I don't speak gibberish.

Only a government can impose patents and copyright, because they require deliberately preventing people from trading things that they possess or create. How could they possibly exist in a free market where people are free to trade anything they own to anyone they choose?

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Patents originally devised to provide a reason to do R&D.

This worked well but it was then extended and rules governing what could be patented were softened.

Now patents are used by large companies to shut out competition and start ups by battering them to death in the courts.

Copyright was first devised to get more works of art into the public domain.

Now? Well suffice it to say copyright has gone way, way too far. Would be better to scrap the concept altogether and replace it with a 'Compensationright'.

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
Maybe you could explain that in English, because I'm afraid I don't speak gibberish.

Only a government can impose patents and copyright, because they require deliberately preventing people from trading things that they possess or create. How could they possibly exist in a free market where people are free to trade anything they own to anyone they choose?

It depends on if you are talking about an Injin style idealised free market or the one that most people would recognise. No patents means certain very necessary things would never get developed.

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Patents originally devised to provide a reason to do R&D.

The reason to do R&D is to produce a product you can sell for more than your competition.

The primary reason why we still have patents is, as you say, because it allows big corporations to keep small corporations out of the market, so they can continue screwing their customers for more money than they would make in a free market.

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It depends on if you are talking about an Injin style idealised free market or the one that most people would recognise.

A free market is a free market: either you're free to trade anything you own with anyone else for any price you mutually agree on our you're not.

No patents means certain very necessary things would never get developed.

Why would 'very neccessary things' not get developed?

BTW, I note that you whine about people being paid low wages, yet you're quite happy to support a system which exists _SOLELY TO ENSURE THAT THOSE SAME POOR PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY HIGHER PRICES THAN THEY WOULD IN A FREE MARKET_. Odd that, isn't it?

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The concept of intellectual property is disgusting which is partly why it appeals so much to collectivists, they think the universe is invented, rather than discovered. Their vanity would be amusing if it did not cause so much deep misery.

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They are worthless unless you can afford to defend them.

At the present time this creates severe inequalities in favour of big business.

Edited by Cogs

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
A free market is a free market: either you're free to trade anything you own with anyone else for any price you mutually agree on our you're not.

Why would 'very neccessary things' not get developed?

BTW, I note that you whine about people being paid low wages, yet you're quite happy to support a system which exists _SOLELY TO ENSURE THAT THOSE SAME POOR PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY HIGHER PRICES THAN THEY WOULD IN A FREE MARKET_. Odd that, isn't it?

Let's say I own a pharma company that develops a broad based cure for cancer, but the cost of development was £2 billion. Without patent protection generic copies of that drug would be available from day 1. Where is the incentive to invest given that state of affairs?

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Let's say I own a pharma company that develops a broad based cure for cancer, but the cost of development was £2 billion.

Why would a cure for cancer cost $2 billion to develop?

Without patent protection generic copies of that drug would be available from day 1.

How would other companies be producing generic copies of your drug from day 1, if it cost you $2 billion to develop?

BTW, you haven't explained why low wages are bad, but artificially increased prices -- which are essentially the same thing -- are good.

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Let's say I own a pharma company that develops a broad based cure for cancer, but the cost of development was £2 billion. Without patent protection generic copies of that drug would be available from day 1. Where is the incentive to invest given that state of affairs?

You get a cancer cure.

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At the present time this creates severe inequalities in favour of big business.

The funny part is that one of the 'justifications' for patents was that it would ensure companies made their inventions public so that other companies would benefit from their development work. Back in reality, in one of my previous jobs, we _WERE NOT ALLOWED_ to read other companies patents, because then we might discover that we were inadvertently violating one... and we kept the detailed information on most of our products secret so that our competitors' lawyers wouldn't be able to scour through the documentation and discover that we were inadvertently violating a patent. So the reality was the precise opposite, encouraging us not to look at what other companies had been doing and to keep things secret that we would have been happy to have open if it weren't for patents.

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You get a cancer cure.

But you also get one if you don't invest and somebody else does the work

I have to admit that IP defeats me, i haven't figured a consistent, logical position on it

Edited by Stars

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Patents originally devised to provide a reason to do R&D.

This worked well but it was then extended and rules governing what could be patented were softened.

Now patents are used by large companies to shut out competition and start ups by battering them to death in the courts.

now THAT'S why they want to shut down the internet!!!

should somebody have a good idea,and send it viral....they lose their monopoly.

not really into this sharing lark are they??......notice how it was the record companies that instigated such proceedings,but bands like radiohead that actually compose and play the stuff make a packetload more when they put the stuff over the wire and merely ask the recipients to donate a small sum.

middle-men and agents are toast.

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
You get a cancer cure.

But like you say people are 100% selfish 100% of the time. Why would I throw 2 billion quid down the pipes to cure cancer?

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But you also get one if you don't invest and somebody else does the work

Again, why would a cure for cancer cost $2 billion to develop, yet be so easily copied that someone else could do so in a few days? Note, of course, that most of the 'development cost' of modern drugs is due to government regulations to ensure that they won't harm pregnant lesbian mice.

Add to that that in a free market the company would have the alternative of offering cancer treatment using their drug rather than selling the drug itself, thereby ensuring that no competitors would have access to it for a substantial period of time after it was available (obviously sooner or later they'd either steal some or reverse-engineer it by studying traces in people who'd been cured).

But I'm still amazed that our resident 'low wages are unfair' expert is quite happy to see the same poor people die of cancer because they can't afford artificially inflated prices.

I have to admit that IP defeats me, i haven't figured a consistent, logical position on it

The only consistent, logical position is that Imaginary Property is impossible. A DVD is a number that's a few billion digits long: if I claimed to own the number 23 and demanded you pay thousands of pounds in damages if you told the number 23 to someone else or used it in a calculation, you'd think I was a lunatic, but if Sony claim to own a number that a few billion digits long, people actually take them seriously; it's absurd.

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No patents means certain very necessary things would never get developed.

No, in a free place you'd just keep your secrets.

Edited by bogbrush

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But you also get one if you don't invest and somebody else does the work

The non pecuniary benefits of being the person or bunch of people who cure cancer will make the investment worth it. Fame, fortune, the godwill of practically every human being on earth....

I have to admit that IP defeats me, i haven't figured a consistent, logical position on it

I agree, it's a minefield.

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I'm not even convinced that patents are much use.

I actually have a patent in my name for a manufacturing technique. We did that for the novelty but I learned that a more secret way is just not to tell anyone hoe you do something, so when we've invented other stuff we've just kep it secret.

A patent, by the way, largely comes in handy for businesses forced by the state to disclose their information. Without the one you really don't need the other.

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But you also get one if you don't invest and somebody else does the work

I have to admit that IP defeats me, i haven't figured a consistent, logical position on it

Yep, kind of where I am. Very galling to invent/develop a product only for cheap copies to be churned out in China weeks later. However, patents/copyright clearly allow existing businesses to exploit monopolies and actually suppress new better products/iterations of existing products.

I do think a start would be discouraging the sale of an item at cost, or below, to get the product into the market for the money to be recouped on accessories/refills later, once market dominance and watertight patents are achieved.

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Guest Steve Cook
The concept of intellectual property is disgusting which is partly why it appeals so much to collectivists, they think the universe is invented, rather than discovered. Their vanity would be amusing if it did not cause so much deep misery.

So, the author of a book does not own the intellectual property rights to the particular and unique configuration of words that makes up that book?

The above being the case, why would anyone write books?

Edited by Steve Cook

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But like you say people are 100% selfish 100% of the time. Why would I throw 2 billion quid down the pipes to cure cancer?

Because you selfishly want a cancer cure.

I have no idea where this idea that free markets = acquisition for the sake of it, I really don't.

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