logo

Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


back

China pushes home grown patents of questionable value

In an otherwise interesting article, the Economist ended a story on the Chinese government's campaign to produce more innovations and resulting patents with this, "If ideas are protected, Chinese people will produce more of them" link here.

Yet the rest of the article doesn't really support that conclusion. People are obtaining lots of patents, issued only since 1985, but whether they are innovations worthy of a patent remains open to question. It turns out there are two kinds of patent, a sort that requires a determination of novelty and is good for 20 years and the other, a finding of utility and good for only 10 years. The latter are far more numerous.

The other part of the story is that the government is pushing hard for more patents, offering incentives like academic tenure, residence permits in desirable cities, company bonuses, etc. The incentive effect has been obvious, in the rise of patent creating companies that sell their products on the basis of such collateral rewards. But I wouldn't sell the Chinese short over the longer run. They do respond to market incentives.

China's patent system is likely to be a problem for foreign companies which want to sell or invest there. From experience in other countries which were sticky about honoring foreign patents, until they have a substantial portfolio of their own IP, that of other countries tends to honored only sporadically and minimally.


Comments

China has indeed made strides, but competitiveness as a global leader in innovation will hinge as much on patent quality as on rate of patent issuance. Until the country manages to effectively address certain cultural, sociological, and other systemic issues, China's high patent volume alone will not serve as an accurate indicator of innovative activity or capability.
China has indeed made strides, but competitiveness as a global leader in innovation will hinge as much on patent quality as on rate of patent issuance.

No, Lonnie, it won't, unless by "hinging on patent quality" you mean any patent quality other than "patents don't exist" will impair competitiveness.


Submit Comment

Blog Post

Name:

Email (optional):

Your Humanity:

Prove you are human by retyping the anti-spam code.
For example if the code is unodosthreefour,
type 1234 in the textbox below.

Anti-spam Code
EightQuatroSixNine:


Post



   

Most Recent Comments

James Boyle's new book with his congenial IP views free to download

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment 1

Copyright batte over 'unauthorized' Catcher in the Rye commentary 1