No patent on laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas. Why or why not?
1. Breadth: Patents on law of nature, etc would be very broad.
a. Pros of broad patents
(A) Patent holder will coordinate development on it, avoiding duplication
(B) Broad patents solves these worries that way only a few holders one has to worry about, easy to get permission.
(A) Hard for one party to coordinate development of something broad, generally bad.
(B) Worried everything one does will implicate a series of algorithms always negotiating with others to do anything new
(C) Too hard to administer.
(1) Too difficult to establish boundaries of an equation.
– Counter: 101 is already vague with what constitutes a law of nature or algorithm.
(2) How do you determine whether a subsequent invention infringes?
2. Patent protection is either unnecessary or ineffective in these categories.
a. Large time lag btw time someone identifies basic law to when it can be utilized.
– Promise of $ later on when law is utilized not particularly motivating.
b. Might displace other incentive systems we have.
(A) If we bring patent system into basic science we may cause people not to be as open in trading information.
– We don’t encourage basic science through patents, gov does, defense dept does, will
undermine this as well.
(B) Inventor already has first-mover advantage
c. Monopoly would pose undue roadblock to further invention by others
– But then person with monopoly could coordinate development, avoid redundancy.
d. Bad argument: Inventors aren’t driven by money
e. Unfair to patent algorithms, etc bc when someone else uses it they may not have benefited from the patent holder.
– Counter: That’s the way the entire system is, even innocent infringers can be sued.
3. A person who discovers such a law isn’t creating anything.
– Note these policy arguments don’t have to be solved via 101. Also enablement, utility, etc.
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