Value comes from scarcity, not overabundance (or a ‘paper economy’)
Summary: The ludicrous notion that an economy will become more competitive/attractive because of a large pile of overestimated papers is challenged by a series of bubbles which benefit nobody and eventually implode
A DECADE ago when we wrote about CSIR it was a top filer in India's patent office. CSIR has since then more or less imploded, as covered here before [1, 2], essentially acknowledging that it had wasted public money on a worthless patent bubble.
CSIR’s sheer failure has just become the subject of yesterday’s article from Dr. Glyn Moody, a mathematician-turned-journalist who writes:
Last December, we wrote about China reaching a rather questionable milestone: filing one million patents in a single year. As Techdirt has pointed out repeatedly, more patents do not equate to more innovation, so simply filing huge numbers of patents means very little in itself. The government of India has just found this out the hard way. As The Hindu reports, CSIR-Tech, the commercialization arm of India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has had to shut down its operations.
As a reminder, very recently the US Chamber of Commerce tried hard to shame India into patent maximalism. It seems clear, however, that the US Chamber of Commerce (a corporate lobby, not a federal thing, sometimes known as CoC) is pressuring every country to grant a lot more patents, including the United States itself!
The signers argued that the USPTO is not dependent on taxpayer funding, and that the patent fees which it collects in fact provide a source of revenue to the federal government.
The letter also raises concern that the hiring freeze will cause the US to fall behind other countries in granting patents. The letter states that the USPTO has fallen from #1 to #10 in its ranking by the US Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center, and that China’s patent office is issuing patents faster than the United States.
So what? China issues a lot of lousy patents on everything under the Sun and it’s already becoming a litigation hub, which helps nobody except law firms. This use of “China” for propaganda purposes was recently seen quite a lot within the camp of software patents lobbyists [1, 2] and was last mentioned this morning.
The problem with patent maximalism or overpatenting is that it creates perceived value out of thin air and the only ones who profit from that are homeopaths-like ‘wizards’ who wish us to genuinely believe something becomes “innovative” only as soon as some patent gets granted. It doesn’t work that way. █