The subprime patent crisis

I don’t know how Glyn Moody of opendotdotdot does it, to produce such a stream of high quality news and commentary items on open developments …

Another gem, taken from Alberto Barrionuevo, which compares the inflation in innovation-stopping patents to the subprime crisis caused by ‘fake’ financial instruments.

In summary:

“Many patents work in the same way that subprime mortgages and all its derivatives. They create false assets and so false economies that finally develop in important economical crisis. But in the case of patents it is worse indeed, because every patent is potentially a monopoly and a block to the free market.”

Here’s the more detailed argument of the havoc caused by patent inflation, by Alberto Barrionuevo:

In many countries, many regulations (financial controls) were removed and so the market was finally flooded by what any common person would denominate “fake money”. The same fake money as the one created with a fake notes machine, but just that much more complex and nicely sold.

But equally, and curiously roughly matching in dates, it has happened in the patent system during the last ten to fifteen years mainly. The regulations have been raised time ago. To get a patent has become almost for free. No innovation effort is almost needed. No innovative step almost. No disclosing of technical knowledge is needed. No invention “as such” is needed, using the patent jargon words. Artificial complexity of the system has reached levels where only the experts bureaucrats working on it understand it. The innovation of the bureaucracy reigns. Real inventors, formerly experienced and brightly engineers, have been replaced by patent technocrats and patent trolls. Those same patent technocrats who indeed decide, with little or no political implication, the patent policy of some of the biggest economical sectors of the world.

The result of this is a patent inflation. The most important patent offices of the world (mainly the namely “Trilateral”) have granted surely some millions of subprime patents… that at the end mean fake assets and fake money. Many of these patents are fake because imprecise, too wide and/or non inventive, but many others are fake because are just out of the limits of the patentability. Their subject matter never should have constituted an “invention”, but they were granted. “Obvious” is a word who lost it sense time ago.”

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