Thursday, April 19, 2012

IPR Abolition 14: Mises Group and Anti-IPR Propaganda

This morning, two friends posted in their facebook wall an article from mises.org, lambasting intellectual property rights (IPR), as usual.

The paper was written by no less than the President of the Mises Institute, Doug French.

Below is the wall posting from "I bet Ludwig von Mises...". I posted contrary opinions and here are our exchanges.
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  • mises.org
    What were once great companies furiously innovating to generate returns have become rent seekers collecting war chests of state privilege to compete in the court room rather than in the marketplace. While government force may keep companies like AOL alive, consumers will surely be worse off and ulti...

  • Nonoy Oplas Not all people, not all laptops, not all ideas, are the same. Mediocre ideas they abound, they don't need protection. Bright ideas are scarce, they need protection, http://funwithgovernment.blogspot.com/2012/03/on-ipr-abolition-13-protecting-bright.html

    4 hours ago ·  · 
  • Galen Nonoy, ideas are not property.
    3 hours ago ·  ·  1
  • I bet Ludwig von Mises can get more fans than John Maynard Keynes Nonoy Oplas, I don't agree that ideas need government protection.
    3 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas You did not read the article I posted. I said private entities like an industry association can protect bright ideas. Mediocre and idiotic ideas, never mind, they don't need protection.
    3 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas Galen, when The Beatles composed "Hey Jude" or "Let it be", it is not their property? If so, whose property are those songs? Anyone can record those songs, do concerts, and brag that they composed those songs?
    3 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas ‎"Enforcement of private property rights need not come from the government. Banks, shops, malls, residential villages, have their own private security agencies that enforce their rules against stealing and other criminal acts. They do not need the state police or barangay tanod to do that. Private enforcement of private property right is possible and is happening, including private enforcement of IPR via industry associations."

    3 hours ago · 
  • I bet Ludwig von Mises can get more fans than John Maynard Keynes Nonoy Oplas We both agree that property rights should be enforced without a state monopoly, but it's important to have a discussion on what property rights are. If I own something, I can trade it for something else. If I own two things, I can mix them with each other and own the product. If I draw an image, any image, on a piece of paper and sell it, it is my right, copyright be damned.
    2 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas It is up to you to apply for copyright of your own drawing or not. Some artists compose songs and they don't care about copyright. I compose a blog post and I don't care about copyright for each article. But some people want copyright and protection of such rights, so why prohibit them? If some people are happy sharing their own invention to others for free, then fine. If others want their invention to be properly recognized and protected, so be it. What's wrong? Why the endless tirade against IPR?
    13 minutes ago · 

And my friend Jules Calagui, also posted the same article. Here are our exchanges.

Nonoy Oplas Jules, not all people, not all dogs, not all ideas, are the same. Mediocre ideas are everywhere, they don't need protection. Bright ideas are scarce, they need protection, http://funwithgovernment.blogspot.com/2012/03/on-ipr-abolition-13-protecting-bright.html
4 hours ago ·  ·  1 · 

  • Jules Calagui He,he, you finally commented...I think Im a fence sitter when it comes to Patents. I see the merits of both argument, that is rewarding bright ideas/pioneering work as well the long term monopoly that is granted to them. Could there be a middle ground? A short term patent perhaps - say 5 years?
    3 hours ago · 
  • Joeb  Bright ideas should be shared. An innovative business model should be developed around the idea instead. If friendster or myspace had a patent over social networking software then there would be no facebook.
    3 hours ago ·  ·  1
  • Jules Calagui Joeb Bert, and Linux.
    3 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas Jules, Joeb, you obviously did not read the article that I posted. I read that Mises article. I wrote there that if The Beatles did not have copyright on "Hey Jude", if U2 did not have copyright on "Wtih or without you", etc., then local rock bands EHeads, Parokya, etc. will simply record and copy those songs, do concerts, make money, with not a single effort at composing original songs. But because of exclusivity, they cannot record those songs for free, so they invented their own songs, they became successful, they made money doing original and copyrighted compositions.

    3 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas Joeb, a social networking cannot be patented. A dance step, a clowning style, a partial calculus formula, cannot be patented, so where's the basis for opposition? The patent is on the inventive step. FB tech is totally different from friendster's or myspace. I've had accounts in both before, but I left them because fb's technology is different, more user friendly.
    3 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas ‎"Enforcement of private property rights need not come from the government. Banks, shops, malls, residential villages, have their own private security agencies that enforce their rules against stealing and other criminal acts. They do not need the state police or barangay tanod to do that. Private enforcement of private property right is possible and is happening, including private enforcement of IPR via industry associations."

    3 hours ago ·  ·  1
  • Jules Calagui Patents, Copyrights and Trademark cannot be lump similarly just like your argument about Beatle's copyright over their songs...The point I raise was about Patents. Specifically, what justifies a longterm monopoly over an invention? Isnt 5 years enough to reward an inventor? Reward the inventor - yes! And fire him up even more to create even better ideas by making the patent short. If you read the Mises Article, what is deplorable also is once an invention is patented, the inventor can also just 'sit on' without even getting it out of the market. 5 years - grant the patent, get it out of the market.

    3 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas I think the length of patent, copyright and trademark (they have diff. life terms) is another debate. One can argue 25 yrs, another will argue 5 years, etc. The bigger debate that the Mises group endlessly argue is that IPR should be abolished, whether patent life is 50 yrs or 1 year, there should be no IPR. That to me is an infantile argument.
    3 hours ago · 
  • Jules Calagui My point was about Utility Patents - " patents issued for the invention of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof." Their life term is 20 years. Shortening it to 5 years forces the inventor to get it out of the market.
    2 hours ago · 

  • Nonoy Oplas I don't know the process of getting a patent in producing a new machine, etc. I am familiar with getting a patent in a new drug molecule. Out of the 20 years patent life of one molecule, about 8-12 years of it are for various clinical trials (4 phases) the drug is still not in pharmacies and drugstores. The commercial period left is only 9-12 years out of the 20 yrs patent. This is closer to your proposal of only 5 years patent life.

    21 minutes ago · 

Meanwhile, here are portions of Mr. French's article:

But studies have not shown any net gain from patent-law-induced innovation. Kinsella suggests,
Perhaps there would even be more innovation if there were no patent laws; maybe more money for research and development (R&D) would be available if it were not being spent on patents and lawsuits. It is possible that companies would have an even greater incentive to innovate if they could not rely on a near twenty-year monopoly.
Instead of spurring innovation, IP appears to be a rat's nest of litigation. For example, Google's chief legal officer, David C. Drummond, estimates that a modern smartphone might be susceptible to as many as 250,000 potential patent claims.

This quote, "studies have not shown any net gain from patent-law-induced innovation." Really? Then we are not experiencing piecemeal, marginal changes and improvements in technology? Current brand of cell phones and TV are almost the same as the cell phones and TV 5 or 10 years ago?

The statement by Kinsella is more wild guess than statement of facts. Why? One can go to N. Korea or Zimbabwe or Somalia, I think they have no patent laws there, no copyright and trademark laws. Are there more innovations, more money for R&D there, compared to the US, Europe, Japan, S. Korea where there are lawsuits and patent wars?

The third paragraph, I think it's not only in IPR and innovation that there are plenty of lawsuits and litigations in America. In corporate mergers, corporate in-fighting, healthcare, etc., there are plenty of litigations too. The series of diagnostic tests required by physicians before they will diagnose their patients and prescribe certain medications -- which make healthcare and treatment very expensive in the US -- is a result of frequent lawsuits and physicians paying huge amount of legal insurance to protect them from potential lawsuits by their patients in the future citing "medical malpractice".

There could be additional exchanges later today, I will update this posting later when those counter-arguments will be posted..
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See also:
On IPR Abolition 6: Blog Ownership and Drug Molecules, May 16, 2011
On IPR Abolition 7: Ideas Cannot be Owned?, May 18, 2011
On IPR Abolition 8: Data Exclusivity in the Proposed EU-Philippines FTA, June 06, 2011
On IPR Abolition 9: Seed Patent and Explosion of Seed Varieties, June 14, 2011
On IPR Abolition 10: Debate with Mises Blog IPR Abolitionists, June 14, 2011
On IPR Abolition 11: Trademark and Brands, September 05, 2011
On IPR Abolition 12: Patent, Mini-Monopolies and Trademark, September 20, 2011

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