This is a great achievement, and congratulations to all that contributed. Of course this is just the beginning and the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Let's hope it really is dining al fresco as required.
Pleased to see UK take this important step, and provide weight to the value of open standards and transparency, particularly as a spur to innovation and competition. Can Washington follow suit?
Many thanks for pointing me in the direction of this important paper. You have summarized the contents admirably, though I would still recommend reading the source, which contains several additional points. In particular I noted that while Boldrin and Levine found no evidence that patents serve the desired purpose of encouraging innovation, they also found no correlation between strengthening patent laws and increased production. The net result has a larger negative impact on social welfare, which supposedly was the beneficiary of patent laws in the first place. The real beneficiaries are only those defending their monopolies, patent lawyers and the "dark" marketeers known as patent trolls.
I was also surprised that the two professors are not alone in their conclusions, as others including Gallini, Jaffe and to a certain extent Lerner agree on the lack of discernible evidence.
Facing an imperative for increased and faster innovation, increased and improved productivity it seems incongruous to try to strengthen the patent system. At the same time it seems almost self defeating to extend US IP influence in trade agreements such as SOPA, ACTA, PIPA and TPP, especially if we encourage other countries to reciprocate deterrents to our own innovation and productivity.
As Boldrin and Levine noted the advocates of strong patent laws tend to come from old and stagnant industries and firms as they seek to protect their once-but-no-longer-innovative IP.
It will be hard to abolish the patent laws, but after reading their arguments there seems little alternative. Yes we can make the adjustments they recommend but if the overall edifice remains the same our competitive edge will be forever dulled.