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Posts Tagged ‘Reader Questions’

Frequent contributor (and my brother-from-another-mother) Tom suggests we add an “ask a libertarian” section.  Now we are hardly mouthpieces for a wildly diverse movement that is part party, part philosophy, and we won’t try to be.

But we’re certainly glad to engage readers and try to shine some light on why we think freedom, limited government and private cooperation could lead us to a better world.  We can’t speak for everyone, but we can offer you our particular lens on an issue that concerns or interests you.

Hence, the inaugural Reader Questions.  The topic: Patents, exclusivity, and innovation.  Tom’s question is a good one, and I’ll reprint it in full:

I’m hesitant to form strong opinions on issues involving patents and intellectual property because, well, I’m not a lawyer. I have a hard time drawing the line between where patent laws encourage innovation and where patent laws change innovators’ focus from the act of innovating to milking patent protection to finding a balance with patent-assisted profits and further innovation, perhaps at the cost of further innovation.

I guess what I’m pondering, fueled by the role of pharmaceutical companies in American health care, is when do patent laws become a reverse incentive for innovation, artificially elevating prices and discouraging or eliminating competitive innovation for similar products?

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