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IP laws stop SMEs create jobs and prosperity for us all

IP laws, job creation by SMEs, and our prosperity
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Knowledge is power and nowhere is that more apparent than in today’s information-driven, high technology economy. Fuelled by the growing demand for new and improved technology, engineers, scientists, and the companies that employ them and manage technology have a vested interest in protecting the wealth generated by their innovative ideas and inventions.

Copyright reflects far more than economic interests. Embedded within conflicts over royalties and infringement are cultural values—about race, class, access, ownership, free speech, and democracy—which influence how rights are determined and enforced.

But until we get over our fixation with the concept of invention and the associated patent laws and copyrights, innovation will continue to be stifled and we will all suffer its economic consequences for years to come.

Questions of legitimacy—of what constitutes “intellectual property” or “fair use,” and of how to locate a precise moment of cultural creation—have become enormously complicated in recent years, as advances in technology have exponentially increased the speed of cultural reproduction and dissemination.

Despite the cries of agents of corporations over the European court ruling disallowing patenting embryonic stem cells , we in SID, are confident that this ruling was just. We believe science is for everyone and no particular corporation should claim ownership of it.

Imagine the ridicules scenario where one day some corporation gets hold of a patent to 2+2=4. Imagine then the consequences to education.
Only the rich could then afford to be educated and pay for the use of the knowledge. Do you want to live in such a world?

But this ridiculous state of affairs has already happened in certain industry sectors like medicine or bio-chemicals. It is certainly not helping the scientists to get on with innovations we badly need to create the future products that fuel the wealth of the society. And this is preventing SME’s from even trying to bring to the market their products.

Most SME managers leave intellectual property issues to their legal department, if there is one, unaware that an organization's intellectual property can help accomplish a range of management goals, from accessing new markets to improving existing products to generating new revenue streams. But not all SMEs can afford such luxuries.

Given the immense and growing importance intellectual property rights have in our society, I just know who gets hurt in this broken system .
And it's a long list:

• Small start-ups who either shy away from improving on products in litigious areas, get sued into oblivion before they can actualize a great idea, or get bought up solely for their intellectual property—which ends up not getting made into products.

• Large companies, like the Samsungs and Apples and HTCs, who spend billions of EUROs on patent acquisition and litigation—which could be better spent on R&D.

• You, gadget-lover, whose desire for the latest and greatest runs directly counter to the directives of the patent wars. It slows things down, it limits choice. It destroys the marketplace of ideas in favour of a shadow world, where the only products you get to see are the ones that get past a beleaguered team of IP lawyers.

Industry sectors are hit differently by this ever increasing number of assorted patents and law suits.

Notice that this legal system affects the development, protection, use, and profitability of this peculiar form of property.
Please remember the legal costs it generates for the innovators while producing a huge opportunity for lawyers to make big money.


In the biotechnology sector concerns have arisen about the many upstream patents that hamper the development of final drugs and therapies.

In the field of software engineering, independent software developers are claiming that patents prevent them from innovating while large companies keep relatively quiet and continue to apply for patents by the thousands.

Given how many software patents are currently being issued and the complex technical language used in the patents, there is no way for a software developer to stay up to date with all of them. This is another industry that is being hampered by excessive patent laws.


Once these technologies become standards, anyone wishing to implement something to the standard will be required to license the technology from the patent holder first. More costs to innovators and job creators in our society. The complexities of these patent law cases forces the SMEs out of business and encourages big corporations to become the sole players in that industry.

It is hard to find evidence suggesting patents are a major factor spurring R&D investment, that patents contribute to economic growth, or even that the patent system is a source of great wealth to important inventors and innovators (outside of a few industries like pharmaceuticals).

Why don't patents reliably encourage R&D and growth? Probably because it is hard to sustain patent laws and institutions that make patents work like property.

Patents applied to small molecule drugs do seem to work like property; they deliver wealth to drug pioneers and encourage R&D. For most other technologies it's hard to find evidence that patents work as property. Similarly, over time and across countries and industries, patents sometimes deliver wealth and encourage R&D, but there's no evidence that this is generally true.

One country that has a significant advantage over Europe and the USA is China. To date, Software, business methods, methods of diagnosing or treating diseases, and many plant varieties are still un-patentable in China.

More recently, the Chinese government has encouraged the country to embrace innovation through a variety of measures. It has increased the overall research and development budget for the country, introduced tax breaks and monetary incentives to increase indigenous innovation and continued investing in the nation’s academic institutions, which have become a driving force behind Chinese patenting.

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
Reza Fardoom

S olidarity with those who work for their money
I ndependence from those who don't
D emocracy in all decisions taken by groups of sane, adult humans


SID - Solidarity, Independence, Democracy is an independent Trade Union of all EU Institutions employees (I want to join SID…)


Created by: admin last modification: Wednesday 07 of December, 2011 [17:01:05 UTC] by admin

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