American Innovation and the Limits of Patent Law: A Response to William Hubbard, Competitive Patent Law
Christopher B. Seaman
Washington and Lee University School of Law
February 1, 2014
65 Florida Law Review Forum 23 (2013)
In his recent article Competitive Patent Law, Professor William Hubbard makes a valuable contribution regarding an underexplored aspect of patent law’s ability to encourage innovation — namely, “whether U.S. patent law can be tailored to provide U.S. innovators with enhanced incentives to invent” compared to foreign rivals, and thus by extension make American firms more competitive in the global marketplace. This brief response addresses three aspects of Professor Hubbard’s thoughtful and well-written article. First, it critiques the article’s contention that the United States is currently facing an “innovation gap.” Second, it critically evaluates the claim that patent law can play a meaningful role in enhancing innovation and thus competitiveness. Finally, it discusses several non-patent-law approaches, including prizes, tax credits, and math and science education, that can help foster the “innovation culture” advocated by Professor Hubbard.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: innovation, patent, competition
JEL Classification: K10, O30, O31, O34
Date posted: May 3, 2014
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