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Read e-book online An economic review of the patent system (Study of the PDF

By Fritz Machlup

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Read Online or Download An economic review of the patent system (Study of the Subcommittee on Patents, Trade-marks, and Copyrights of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, study) PDF

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Extra resources for An economic review of the patent system (Study of the Subcommittee on Patents, Trade-marks, and Copyrights of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, study)

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170 Michael Polanyi finds this true for large indust,rial labornt,ories, chiefly because of the "purely formal tests" for the novelty of an invention. The resultinganomaly * * * is clearly demonstrated by the common practice pursued by industrial laboratories with respect to the publication of the resuks of their chemical investigations. 1'1 The point tbnt patent monopolies are often gra,nted in exchange for incomplete disclosure is made by several writers. Corwin Edwards, for example, mites: The slipshod method of identifying inventions * * * makes i t possible to obtain a process patent without revealing all that must beknowninorder to make effective use of the patented invention.

After "disposingJ' of the thesis that patents are needed to stimulate invention, he proceeds to reject the thesis that they are needed to secure the working of inventions : The contention still remains for consideration t h a t t h e patent sj-stem is necessary in order to secure the exploitation, if not the production of inventions. The main argument is that entrepreneurs will be reluctant t o invest in plant which others may also acquire for purposes of competition. It need not detain us for long.

220. Michaal Polanyi, op. , supra, note 27, p. 71. 172 The fourth point-that society liberally trades valuable monopoly grants for information which it could get for nothing-is forcefully stated by Sir Arnold Plant: A hundred years ago, i t was also argued as a merit of the patent system that i t provided an inducement to inventors to make public the nature of their inventions so that they would eventually be generally available for wider exploitation. When businesses were small, and processes might remain one-man or family affairs, secrecy and monopoly might indeed persist longer in open competition than under the patent system.

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