October 8, 2012
As social mood shifts from positive to negative at large degree (think turning a big ship or the conflicting themes of the late 1960s), society begins to doubt mainstay doctrines of the preceding uptrend. Patents and copyrights are good examples—many people now say these long-revered legal tools are bad for the economy because they suppress innovation and support a non-productive legal system. The New York Times wrote yesterday, “many see a destructive use of software patents corrupting the marketplace for ideas,” In 2011, for the first time, Apple and Google spent more on patent lawsuits and purchases than on research and development of new products. And the Supreme Court will soon hear an appeal of a patent infringement decision against a farmer who planted second-generation genetically modified seed, maintaining that Monsanto had no rights after it made the initial sale. The Court will also reconsider the first-sale doctrine in copyright law that it has recognized since 1908.
Robert Prechter explained how social mood affects patents in his October 2010 presentation to the World Future Society, a futurists organization. Click here to watch the presentation.