Essay: Is the United States Patent System in Good Operating Condition What Are the Criticisms?

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Patent System

A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor or his assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention. Patents are supposed to serve two primary purposes. The first goal is to facilitate and encourage disclosure of innovations into the public domain for the common good and the second goal is to encourage research and development through protection that makes it more economically efficient by rewarding companies for their efforts (Patent -- economic rationale). but, do patents really accomplish these objectives? Critics claim that patents can, in many instances, actually have the exact opposite impact.

Most frequently called into question is how the conferring of a "negative right" upon a patent owner promotes the common good. With this "negative right," a company holding a patent can prevent others from making, using, or selling the patented invention (Silverman, 1995). Only once a patent expires, the protection ends, and an invention enters the public domain and becomes available to commercial exploitation by others (Frequently asked questions (FAQs)). Pharmaceutical patents are often cited as examples of how "negative rights" have negative consequences for society by preventing lower-cost generic drugs from entering the market (Banta, 2001).

Further, the motives of patent owners are also questionable. Quinion (2006) describes what is referred to as "patent trolls" who have no interest in commercializing a patent or licensing it so that innovations are available in the public domain. Instead, some large companies try to develop a huge portfolio of patents just to collect money from other firms whose products they consider to be covered by the patents or to sue others for patent infringement

Professors Heller and Eisenberg (Patent -- economic rationale) explain that patent protection of intellectual property rights can become so fragmented that it's difficult for any one to take full advantage of them. As an example, these professors discuss complex therapeutic proteins and genetic diagnostic tests that require the use of numerous patented gene fragments. The owners of these patents must either negotiate an arrangement in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Is the United States Patent System in Good Operating Condition What Are the Criticisms?.  (2009, May 1).  Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/united-states-patent-system-good-operating/451878

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"Is the United States Patent System in Good Operating Condition What Are the Criticisms?."  1 May 2009.  Web.  13 November 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/united-states-patent-system-good-operating/451878>.

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"Is the United States Patent System in Good Operating Condition What Are the Criticisms?."  Essaytown.com.  May 1, 2009.  Accessed November 13, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/united-states-patent-system-good-operating/451878.