I have recently commented on an IPKAT blog posts regarding the discussion started by The Economist magazine by Nicola and Neil Wilkoff. The Economist article was further commented on by Fortune magazine. Following is my comment, otherwise to be found second bellow the above blog post:
I am surprised by the defensive tone of Neil’s comment. I feel that the Economist approach, especially in the Leader article as presented by Nicola, is actually very constructive and well thought out. It is becoming obvious that the patent system achieved a level of complexity completely at odds with the overall need to simplify and streamline contemporary social mechanisms. Many a practitioner could tell tales of minor or larger abuse of the system conducted under the cloak of defending inventors’ rights. Of course, one needs to accept that it is possible to reverse the ever growing complexity of our social systems as it happened to me through research(*).
I have repeatedly called for a change of (dis)course within the IP profession that seemed to have been losing credibility by day during the ACTA episode and post SOPA/PIPA discussions. I am afraid that our profession is today perceived by society at large as increasingly self-serving and protecting its own vested interests above those of the society.
After a couple of centuries of virtual monopoly over the matters of protection of intangibles IP profession found itself off-guard and outflanked by the activists and ended up participating in the vigorous public discussions with its credibility much weakened by the perception of defending its vested interests. The truth is that this is a great time for intellectual property as it is for the first time after more than two centuries that intellectual property seeped into the pores of social life and left its protected experts’ cocoon where its was nursed and shielded during the period of incredible social changes. Today it is a topic of broad social interest and the IP profession should be welcoming its newfound importance to the societies that saw it as a much less important phenomenon until just a decade ago.
* See a summary published in RIThink Multidisciplinary Online Journal, Vol. 1 2012, pp 25-27 and my blog posts IMMENSITY and FROM IMMATERIAL TO INTANGIBLE.