Interesting readings for September 10, 2012

Rajdeep Sardesai on the problems of law and order in Bombay. Nothing is more important in the priorities of the State than the police and the courts.

In recent weeks, we’re seeing fresh attention on the flaws of the HR processes of government. Shashi Tharoor in the Indian Express on the IFS, and Sundeep . . . → Read More: Interesting readings for September 10, 2012

A Patently Good Idea

From Gigaom:

A U.S. judge yesterday threw aside a much-anticipated trial between Apple and Google-owned Motorola Mobility over smartphone patents. The decision and a blog comment by the same judge could prove to be a watershed moment for a U.S. patent system that has spiraled out of control.

In his remarkable ruling, U.S. Circuit . . . → Read More: A Patently Good Idea

The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

The central thesis of Cowen’s book is that the recent economic downturn is mostly due to the law of diminishing marginal returns.  The metaphor he uses to explain this is that of an orchard.  In any orchard, some of the hanging fruit is closer to the ground than other fruit.  The natural tendency is . . . → Read More: The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Could This Patent Actually Be Beneficial?

For most of my life, I ignored/accepted it, but since I’ve become interested, every argument — moral or practical — that I’ve seen for “intellectual property” has collapsed under even nominal scrutiny. IP doesn’t protect anything resembling justifiable claims to property rights, nor does it, as its supporters love to claim, “spur innovation.”

At . . . → Read More: Could This Patent Actually Be Beneficial?

Women and Patents

Consider this abstract:

We investigate women’s underrepresentation among holders of commercialized patents: only 5.5% of holders of such patents are female. Using the National Survey of College Graduates 2003, we find only 7% of the gap is accounted for by women’s lower probability of holding any science or engineering degree, because women with such . . . → Read More: Women and Patents

Mandated Heath Market Inefficiencies

Karl Denninger:

We cannot permit America to be the “pay line” for every worldwide drug and device development program. The same pill sold here in America for $25 is $2 in Canada and other nations.  The cost of reproduction is covered by the $2, but development is not.  The free market would normally prohibit . . . → Read More: Mandated Heath Market Inefficiencies

Too Bad the Name "Illuminati" is Already Taken

Our household transitioned to Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) light bulbs years ago. We did it over time, replacing our incandescent bulbs as they burned out. At this point, the only remaining incandescents in the house are those “makeup bulbs” in the significant other’s vanity lamp.

Why did we change over? Because the CFLs were . . . → Read More: Too Bad the Name Illuminati is Already Taken

Book Review

Tabarrok focuses on four policy areas in which changes could yield very positive results. He kicks off the short eBook by focusing first on patent reform, noting that many areas of patent coverage (software, technical processes e.g.) have low innovation costs and, as such, are not worthy of patent protection. In fact, his recommended . . . → Read More: Launching The Innovation Renaissance by Alex Tabarrok

A Broken Market

The pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, watched its main source of revenue and profits, Lipitor, lose its patent protection this week, and now faces competition from generic equivalents. In 2010 Lipitor was the second highest selling prescription drug with $5.2 billion in sales in the U.S. alone. (source: Now, in the next year, prices of . . . → Read More: A Broken Market

On Patent Reform

The Smith Patent Reform Bill has become law:

President Obama today signed into law the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (H.R. 1249) a bipartisan, bicameral bill that updates our patent system to encourage innovation, job creation and economic growth. Both Houses of Congress overwhelmingly supported the proposal, which was sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman . . . → Read More: On Patent Reform