Patents - Innovation (was Re: [Fsfe-ie] Charlie McCreevy)

Seth Johnson seth.johnson at
Sun Aug 15 14:32:47 CEST 2004


If we put out a line showing the problems with counting "patents" as a
measure of innovation, and a practical analysis of the implications, this
will make it much, much easier for Commissioners who feel the pressure to
"stay with the program" to take a position on our side.  They will not just
have to stand up for non-patentability of software, but they will also have
the means to comment on and articulate their position with respect to the
overriding "Lisbon Strategy" project.


Seth Johnson wrote:
> > I think we should start something where we get economic and political
> > analysts to comment on the uncritical use of the number of patents as an
> > indicator of innovation and research.  We can target that analysis to
> > McCreevy.
> What I'm talking about in the following is, we need to convey to the folks
> who devised the performance measures for the Lisbon Strategy, that simply
> counting "technology patents" as a measures of innovation, failing to make
> the distinction that SW patents establish a thoroughgoing constraint on
> innovation, is not going to work as an objective measure for the "voluntary"
> Lisbon Strategy.  In describing the distinction and its implications, we may
> do well to play to Verheugen, and to the evident "balancing" between Michel
> and Mandelson.  This is very important, because I believe it is this
> overarching strategy, and this measure in particular, which probably
> accounts for the implacable indifference of these folks to assertions of
> democratic principles of governance, as they pursue a "fact-based,"
> business-like approach to governance.


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