Criticism of patents

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Criticism of Patents is a topic that has been widely discussed in the field of Intellectual Property Law. Patents are legal documents that grant exclusive rights to inventors for their inventions for a certain period of time. However, they have been subject to criticism for various reasons.

Overview[edit | edit source]

A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention. The procedure for granting patents, the requirements placed on the patentee, and the extent of the exclusive rights vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements.

Criticisms[edit | edit source]

Economic Impact[edit | edit source]

Critics argue that patents may stifle innovation rather than promote it. They suggest that patents block access to basic scientific tools, thus impeding the pace of scientific advancement. The Economic Impact of Patents is a subject of ongoing debate.

Access to Medicine[edit | edit source]

The Access to Medicine debate is another area where patents have been criticized. Critics argue that patents on pharmaceuticals, particularly in developing countries, limit access to life-saving medicines.

Patent Trolls[edit | edit source]

Patent Trolls are entities that hold patents for the sole purpose of enforcing them against alleged infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but do not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question, thus engaging in economic rent-seeking. Critics of patents argue that such practices are an abuse of the patent system.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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External Links[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD