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Patent Expertise and the Regress of Useful Arts

Southern Illinois University Law Journal, Vol. 33, pp. 239-277, 2009

39 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2010  

Andrew W. Torrance

University of Kansas - School of Law

Bill Tomlinson

University of California, Irvine

Date Written: January 28, 2010

Abstract

Employing a multi-user interactive simulation of patent and non-patent (commons and open source) systems (the "Patent Game"), this study compares empirical data on rates of innovation, productivity, and social utility generated by groups of expert users deliberately selected to possess formal expertise in patent law and open innovation. The results show no statistically significant difference (at a p-level of 5%) in rates of innovation among a pure patent system, a patent/open source system, and a commons system. By contrast, the results do show statistically significant differences in rates of productivity and social utility among all three systems, with both productivity and social utility lowest in a pure patent system, higher in a patent/open source system, and highest in a pure commons system. These results are inconsistent with the orthodox assumption that patent systems generate more “Progress of...useful Arts” than do more open models of innovation, such as patent/open source or pure commons systems, but are consistent with some of the predictions and observations from the field of use and open innovation.

Keywords: Patent, innovation, open innovation, commons, open source, patent law, game, simulation, patent system, innovation, productivity, social utility, expertise, user innovation

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K11, K12, K19, K20, K21, K22, K23, K29, K30, K39, K40, K41, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Torrance, Andrew W. and Tomlinson, Bill, Patent Expertise and the Regress of Useful Arts (January 28, 2010). Southern Illinois University Law Journal, Vol. 33, pp. 239-277, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1543863

Andrew W. Torrance (Contact Author)

University of Kansas - School of Law ( email )

Green Hall
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7577
United States

Bill Tomlinson

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Bren Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3440
United States

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