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Creating a Learning SocietyA New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress$
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Joseph Stiglitz and Bruce Greenwald

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152143

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152143.001.0001

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Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

(p.429) Chapter Fifteen Intellectual Property
Creating a Learning Society

Joseph E. Stiglitz

Bruce C. Greenwald

Columbia University Press

Intellectual property rights (IPR) are supposed to provide incentives to encourage innovation. However, the provisions of the intellectual property regime that has become dominant around the world have failed to maximize learning. This chapter examines why this is so and what might be done about it. It discusses the potential disadvantages of the IPR system—that it inevitably gives rise to static inefficiencies and excessively strong, poorly designed property rights that may actually impede innovation and growth. It then considers alternatives to IPR for producing and financing knowledge. It concludes that the appropriate intellectual property regime for developing countries and emerging markets is likely to be markedly different from that appropriate for the advanced industrial countries. Alternative ways of designing an innovation system should emphasize prizes and open source. Patents will also play a role, but the details of the patent system matter: a good patent system, for instance, should pay more attention to disclosure, to problems of holdup, and to designing better systems of challenging patents.

Keywords:   intellectual property protection, intellectual property rights, learning, patents, innovation

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