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View Full Version : Property Rights: Ron Paul on patent reform?




rpwi
01-22-2012, 12:35 PM
Would be interested to know if Ron Paul has commented on this. Certainly a big deal now with the iphone vs droid, but this is a much larger issue in IT and beyond.

The core problem with patents is...what if somebody else would have thought of it on their own? In such a case the, the government patent turns into an artificial monopoly that artificially suppresses the free expression of others. This is a big problem as the patent office it frequently staffed by non-technical people and to them...everything seems like magic. They lack the expertise to say...this would have been invented otherwise. In a world with too many patents or too few, I would prefer the latter. I believe the problem is far more systemic than what people believe...randomly point to anything man-made around you and you'll probably be pointing at a lot of government patents. Such a level of monopoly has a serious consequence on the economy. Too often the case, inventions are the product of certain types of materials becoming available and affordable at the right time and frequently you have inventors in disconnected parts of the world working on the same invention (the airplane is a great example). Truly the airplane patents crippled the air industry in the US, while Europe (which didn't recognize the American patents (rightly so) easily outpaced the US in early aeronautic technology.

Many voices have been very critical of patents as a concept (among them Libertarians Harry Browne and Thomas Jefferson...the first patent office administrator). There are even organizations like http://endsoftpatents.org/ that have made this a key issue (very big anti-patent movement in the software industry) and would be curious to know where Ron Paul stood on this.

Zippyjuan
01-22-2012, 03:45 PM
The US Constitution, in Article 1 Section 8 calls for the granting of patents and copyrights "for a limited time" so if you are a true Constitutionalist this should be supported.

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

rpwi
01-22-2012, 04:42 PM
The US Constitution, in Article 1 Section 8 calls for the granting of patents and copyrights "for a limited time" so if you are a true Constitutionalist this should be supported.So Thomas Jefferson wasn't a true Constitutionalist? The constitution also delegates the power from the people to the federal government to run the post office and for the federal government to construct roads. Are you saying libertarians that want to abolish the federal post office and to return all road building to the states aren't Constitutionalist?

Inny Binny
01-22-2012, 08:29 PM
So Thomas Jefferson wasn't a true Constitutionalist? The constitution also delegates the power from the people to the federal government to run the post office and for the federal government to construct roads. Are you saying libertarians that want to abolish the federal post office and to return all road building to the states aren't Constitutionalist?

Yes. The constitution isn't a libertarian document.

rpwi
01-22-2012, 10:01 PM
My point is just because the Constitution delegates a power to the federal government does not mean a politician has to execute such power. A Constitutionalist is in my mind one who doesn't EXCEED the limits set by the Constitution.

ZentaiKitty
02-08-2012, 08:44 PM
Hi rpwi,

I've been researching RP's ideas on this along with a vareity of other topics, and found very little directly from him. What I did find is a Slashdot interview in 2008:

"Ron Paul campaign:
Patents have a role to play in encouraging innovation. While I do not have a plan for patent reform yet, I would want to work with Congress to make sure that the US patent system encourages and rewards innovation. Making sure the patent system is fair to small business and entrepreneurs, rewards the actual inventors of a product, and does not tilt the playing field to large corporations will be a priority in my administration's approach to patent law."

http://interviews.slashdot.org/story/08/02/05/1511225/Ron-Paul-Campaign-Answers-Slashdot-Reader-Questions

Since he has also stated that he would like to reduce protectionist and corporatist government policies, one must assume that IP law reform will be a part of that... particularly if he intends to touch the govt's ill effects on healthcare, as he has often stated he plans to do.

Separately from RP, Murray Rothbard and vonMises both had some interesting perspectives on patents, if you are looking for some other ideas. (Love him or hate him, Rothbard in particular will undoubtedly be an eye opener... and a fun, sarcastic one at that.) Approaching patents from a different perspective, but the same school, is Hayek. RP probably is closest to Hayek in his economic perspectives, being fairly Austrian but ever-so-slightly statist when elucidating answers. (Of course, I often wonder if improved community networks and options existed to supply alternatives to ip systems and the like, would he be? I tend to think not, based on his preferences for community action for a variety of things like healthcare. Hayek actually did seem to prefer state intervention in a few specific arenas... though again, who knows, given the community web promise provided by today's tech... ; - D)

ZentaiKitty
02-08-2012, 08:53 PM
I have to agree. The Constitution provided some decent guidelines, but it was a document of compromise and, as a result, deeply flawed... particularly if its true mission was to create a government designed to uphold the "universal rights of man" and forever promote liberty. For example, a document that truly meant to do that would never have essentially recreated the parliamentary system with more colonial names or been satisfied with a simple majority vote in important Federal matters (the simple majority vote nearly always results in a 2 party system, as decried by GW himself as the most likely destructor of the democracy.) There is a reason that several of our founding fathers, including John Adams, noted we needed a good revolution every few years to keep our democracy healthy, and it is not because the document so perfectly supported personal liberty. At present, it is our best guide. Adherence to it would surely reduce many of the issues in our government and economy today. However, it needs major modifications to truly support the ideals of personal freedom and minimal government lauded by the Libertarian party (and the democratic and republican parties before they were warped by power begetting power grabs type behaviors.) We can get it there, but it is not there yet.

row333au
02-09-2012, 02:16 AM
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/402640_10151240264400252_818880251_22987783_212821 9582_n.jpg

rpwi
02-09-2012, 09:58 PM
ZentaiKitty...thx for sharing :)

It's very refreshing to hear Rothbard clearly separate copyrights from patents.

For those interested, Rothbard has a very nice critique of patents here: http://ccs.in/lacs/7patents_copyrights.pdf

He then has a very intelligent critique of mercantilism which is framed in much of the same context as patents.

http://c4sif.org/2011/08/rothbard-on-mercantilism-and-state-patents-of-monopoly/

If one thinks about it...the mercantilist economy is little different than the patented one.

I think more libertarians (than just say Rothbard, Harry Browne & Thomas Jefferson) would be opposed to patents if they thought about this matter more in depth.

rpwi
02-09-2012, 09:59 PM
...Quite sad :(

libertyforme
03-05-2012, 09:18 PM
This is a big problem as the patent office it frequently staffed by non-technical people and to them...everything seems like magic. They lack the expertise to say...this would have been invented otherwise.

What experience do you have with the patent office to say such a thing? Do you know the requirements for someone to be hired at the patent office? Do you know the patent laws and rules that examination is held under?

In order to even apply, you must hold an engineering or science degree. Some areas, you may not even get hired with anything under a Phd due to competition. Not the sort of people who think something is "magic". So I am not sure you are someone who should be making such blanket statements or discuss a topic you are obviously not familiar with.

Lishy
03-06-2012, 03:31 PM
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/402640_10151240264400252_818880251_22987783_212821 9582_n.jpg


I don't like Kim Dotcom at all. Let me stress that. But it's ridiculous how real criminals serve less time than him!

I also have to say that there must be stricter guidelines for patenting. There must be earlier dates at which patents expire, and we need a stricter definition of what justifies a patent lock. Nintendo for example was sued not too long ago for the "the illusion of depth without glasses", while Worlds.com sued NCSoft for the "use of 3d avatars in a communicative, 3d environment."

Meanwhile, patenting GMOs, or "bio-pigs" is also utterly ridiculous, because you'd be patenting science. How can you patent science!? Next you know people will patent a2 + b2 = c2!?

presence
03-17-2012, 04:21 PM
First of all... that Kim Dotcom
50 YEARS SENTENCE meme is a HOAX...

He's out on bail, "facing" up to 50 years.

A provisional start date for the extradition hearing, which could take three weeks, has been set down for August 20. (http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=730009&vId=)

-------------------------------------
Back on subject:


Patent Trolls Cost The Economy Half A Trillion Dollars
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110919/17065416018/patent-trolls-cost-economy-half-trillion-dollars.shtml

Wikipedia: Patent Trolling
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll

Patents are counterproductive in rapid innovation and low barriers-to-entry industries
https://mises.org/Community/forums/t/837.aspx

I personally despise the "patent industry"; "patent trolls", imposed corporate hegemony and the like. Rather than the WTO 20 year standard, patents should be maintainable for 60 months from the date of the original patent; 24 additional months by court order if and only if:

1) You prove to have a patented product in production and on the market AND
2) You prove to have yet to recover substantiated R&D costs of said patent.

After that, intellectual property should be open source. Same goes for copy rights. Trade marks on the other hand deserve long term protection. Software should only get 12 months before it is open source.

What is the purpose of patents? To promote R&D and recover R&D costs. NOT to reap endless profits, stifle competition, and troll lawsuits for patents you didn't even create. Patent laws were created for an industrial age. Welcome to the digital age. Since i'm on a rant... all this bs about patenting organisms is bs; if you want to patent a process by which you create the organism, fine... 60 months, but no patents on life forms.

poop or get off the pot,

presence

Jingles
03-17-2012, 04:40 PM
There are somethings in the Constitution itself that I don't support. Like the post office, patents, intellectual property, the state has to grant licenses to corporations, etc... I want to go through the correct process and amend these things.

The Constitution is an okay document, but it isn't exactly my specific vision of a minarchist government.

I think being a Constitutionalist has a lot more to do with following the document than believing everything it says.