Why innovation (not patents) matters to developed countries

Wired ran a half-serious, half-fun readers’ contest to find ways to fix the “broken patent system” (their words, not mine). Here are the results.

There are some jewels among more mundane ideas. The separation between innovation and patents was outlined. There’s the idea that a patent should cost a recurring fee to its holder (“use it or lose it”), something I believe deeply in the field of copyright, but don’t think could work for patents.

However there’s one sentence that I think is so true that it can’t be repeated often enough, especially when talking with those European commissioners that are still mistaking patents for innovation: With little innovation, we are competing on the basis of labor cost.