Reforming U.S. Patent Policy

Getting the Incentives Right

Author: Keith E. Maskus, Stanford Calderwood Professor of Economics, University of Colorado

Reforming U.S. Patent Policy - reforming-us-patent-policy
Order Report

Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date November 2006

Price $10.00 paper

56 pages
ISBN 0876093675
Council Special Report No. 19

Share

Overview

The conversation on American competitiveness is often intertwined with the conversation on innovation.

The liberalization of trade and the increasing influence of emerging markets such as China and India have meant that U.S. innovation is now competing globally. This global competition has raised awareness and concerns not only that our trading partners are lax on patent enforcement, but also that our patent system may not be optimally suited to compete on the global economic stage.

In this Council Special Report, Keith E. Maskus offers a fair, thoughtful, and at times counterintuitive account of this issue. He recognizes the importance of patent protection for innovation but also warns against blind adherence to the mantra that more protection will necessarily produce more innovation. He highlights the numerous friction points in the patent system and recommends policy options to smooth them out and to keep our patent system competitive. While acknowledging concerns about patent infringement in emerging markets, he expresses deep skepticism of U.S. efforts to harmonize patent standards through trade negotiations. In its place, he proposes a grand bargain in which the developed world requires emerging markets to enforce patents in exchange for agreeing to relax efforts to tighten global patent standards.

Part of the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Series on American Competitiveness.

More About This Publication

To submit a letter in response to a Council Special Report for publication on our website, CFR.org, you may send an email to CSReditor@cfr.org. Alternatively, letters may be mailed to us at:

Publications Dept.
Council on Foreign Relations
58 East 68th Street
New York, NY 10065

Letters should include the writer’s name, postal address, and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published online. Please do not send attachments. All letters become the property of the Council on Foreign Relations and will not be returned. We regret that, owing to the volume of correspondence, we cannot respond to every letter.

More on This Topic