Patents: End Them or Charge Full Value


Do creative types need patents to protect their novel ideas? Should government be in the patent business? If so, should government issue them for a filing fee, or for a portion of how much the idea is worth? Presently, big companies stockpile patents, keeping off any next generation intellectual explorers. Could techno-progress proceed more rapidly with a reform of intellectual property protection? By just entering the market first, could creators have a better chance of compensation? How have other times and places handled these questions? What do the experts say? And if we (society) charged people for staking claims on the field of knowledge, could we extend the principle to charging for all government-granted privileges (corporate charters, licenses, land titles, etc), and generate enough public revenue to pay ourselves a dividend (a la Alaska’s oil dividend), financially empowering inventors? Why not?

Jeffery J. Smith

Affiliation Forum on Geonomics; Society for Ecological Economics

Inventor. Writer. Host of a news website,