Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Does vigorous enforcement of patent, trademark and copyright protect jobs? Libertarian university think tank says, not really

Mercatus Research at the George Mason University in Fairfax VA has a paper by Eli Dourado and Ian Robinson, “How Many Jobs Does Intellectual Property Create?”, link here. The paper takes up the legal protections of copyright, trademark and patent. 
While noting that the automatic copyright of a blog posting doesn’t generally function as a strong economic incentive to create and self-publish content, and acknowledging the letigimacy of concerns about piracy, trademark and patent may in practice be more critical.  But trademark, it says, doesn’t have a lot of value beyond the very obvious one of branding a product or service with the reputation of a provider for the benefit of consumers.  That would seem to downplay the importance of a connection between Internet domain names and trademark. And patent law opens the concept of patent up for easy abuse by trolls. 
The paper notes that the generation or protection of jobs in the traditional sense does not protect or promote economic prosperity in the long run.  

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