Apr 11

Patents : Innovation guarantees or creators of monopolies ?

When we talk about monopolies we usually refer to a certain company or agency alone can control a market, what all this entails. With no competition , the products or services tend to be lower and the price is not as competitive . When a company gets a patent on a new invention , achieved the exclusive commercial exploitation for a period of time , which becomes the only company that can market the product or service, and therefore , it creates a position monopoly on that particular product for a given territorial area .

The patent system is considered as an agreement between the State and an enterprise , preventing other companies to manufacture and sell the patented product without the consent of the patent holder , which often sells these rights earning extra income . But patents are so necessary ?

The argument used to defend a patent system and intellectual property has been almost always the same . A diffuse innovation creates business income , to be distributed among the whole pie , rather than earning exclusive and never be an incentive for innovative companies to create new inventions.

While it is true that the patent system rewards innovative companies , it is also true that prices are distorted during the time in which the company can market the product alone, and also lost the opportunity to know if another company could have improved the initial invention . Generally , patents granted this right for a period of time is usually 10 to 20 years , during that time , many citizens are denied access to enjoy this product for extortionate prices for the use and enjoyment of it .

Anyway, there are certain cases in which patents may make some sense . In the case of , for example , pharmaceutical companies get to find cures for diabetes or cancer there is reason to defend industrial property, and that the company concerned to raise revenue exclusively for the operation of this product.

But can the same be said in the case of some marginal improvements , as a small change in a computer program , or color change in a container ? Or do certain patents are only recorded then sold to other companies for profit ? There are more than enough reasons to think that this kind of exclusivity has a component of social loss . In these cases we can not know what would have happened in the case of having shared knowledge with other companies, but it seems logical to think that could have been a great improvement in society.

But how are all inventions created before the creation of patent systems ? Moreover how all inventions have created even before the onset of the states? Recall first appeared when the wheel or fire as inventions that changed the way we live . It is also true that the economies have changed and have become market economies where profits take precedence before any other interest , such as survival as it was in those days .

Anyway , inventions are only the beginning. The wheel in the Neolithic is not the same wheel now , much less . Like not even a century ago. All inventions progress . The operating grant for 10 or 20 years (as in countries such as Mexico ) to a company that product does not develop further during that time. The create monopoly positions on a product slows progress on it during that time period for a specific territorial area .

Therefore, we do not know what would happen without a patent system . It is possible that we did not have some of the easier our products or services that makes us more lives. What is certain is that patents create monopolies that impede the progress of a particular product for a period of time. Why not provide incentives for the creation of new inventions with rewards or shorten the exclusive use of these products? In this way it would constitute innovation without stifling progress.