Monday, September 30, 2013

Cultural Cognition of Patents

I just posted a new essay, Cultural Cognition of Patents, which is forthcoming in IP Theory. Here is the abstract:
Simply making empirical progress is not always enough to influence policy, as demonstrated by the polarized public discourse over issues ranging from climate change to gun control. The current discourse over patents appears to have a similar pathology, in which cultural values—such as respect for strong property rights or concern about limiting access to knowledge—shape priors and affect the weight given to new information, such that advocates and policymakers on both sides of the patent wars often fail to acknowledge the ambiguity of existing evidence. In this Essay, I suggest that the “cultural cognition” framework might help scholars to understand this value-based division and to study ways to design and communicate patent experiments so that the resulting knowledge has the impact it should.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nicholson Price II: Making Do in Making Drugs

"M&M chocolate candies are made with a precision far beyond the capabilities of many drug manufacturers." This is the intriguing opening to a thorough critique of innovation in pharmaceutical manufacturing by Nicholson Price II (Petrie-Flom Fellow), Making Do in Making Drugs: Innovation Policy and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (forthcoming in B.C. L. Rev.). Although drug discovery "is the focus of a calibrated innovation policy," Price argues that drug manufacturing is typically inefficient and non-innovative for two reasons: high regulatory barriers, on the one hand, and ineffective intellectual-property incentives, on the other.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kitch & O'Connor: Should Crowdfunding Be Regulated?

"I think I'm here because I wrote an article called The Nature and Function of the Patent System..." This is how Edmund Kitch, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, began his talk at a lively panel I attended on Thursday, September 12 at "The Commercial Function of Patents in Today's Innovation Economy," the inaugural academic conference on intellectual property at George Mason University School of Law's new Center for Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP). Kitch, of course, was referring to his famous article on the role of patents in facilitating commercialization and efficient coordination of research. But patents were not Kitch's topic. Instead, Kitch was here to talk about what he sees as another important mechanism for facilitating commercialization of new ideas and business models: crowd funding.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Top 10 New IP Paper Downloads

Here's an updated list of the most downloaded IP papers that were posted on SSRN in the past 60 days (and I'm happy to be at #4!):