Patent - Economics - Criticism - Proposed Alternatives To The Patent System

Proposed Alternatives To The Patent System

According to James Bessen, elimination of the patent system would increase the incentives for innovation in all industries except chemistry and pharmaceuticals by eliminating startup litigation costs.

Alternatives have been discussed to address the issue of financial incentivization to replace patents. Mostly, they are related to some form of direct or indirect government funding. One example is the idea of providing "prize money" (from a "prize fund" sponsored by the government) as a substitute for the lost profits associated with abstaining from the monopoly given by a patent. Another approach is to remove the issue of financing development from the private sphere all together, and to cover the costs with direct government funding.

Trade secrets are an existing alternative to the patent system. Given their popularity, it has been proposed to strengthen nondisclosure and employment law pertaining to trade secrets.

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