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Desrochers, “Excludability, Creativity and the Case Against the Patent System”

I’ve been attending the Mises Institute’s Austrian Scholars Conference meetings since the beginning, in the 1990s. I’ve missed a few in recent years, but go whenever I can. I’ve met so many great and interesting people there. One of them is the brilliant Canadian economic geographer Pierre Desrochers, who was recently profiled in this Mises Institute Faculty Spotlight Interview. I just re-read his nice, short article, “Excludability, Creativity and the Case Against the Patent System,” Economic Affairs, vol. 20, no. 3 (September 2000), pp. 14-16. Many libertarians are now coming out against IP1 but Desrochers was an early skeptic. His article, published in 2000, cites my working paper presented at the 2000 ASC, which was later published as Against Intellectual Property in the JLS. Desrochers attended that ASC, if I recall. I also recall the Objectivist George Reisman attending my anti-IP speech and approaching me afterwards, a bit incredulous that I could oppose patent and copyright, and asking me to confirm that I indeed was opposed to these laws. I said yes, and he just nodded, and he just turned around and slowly walked out, a bit stunned.)

Anyway, Desrochers’s piece is a nice, concise criticism of the patent system. (See also his article On the Abuse of Patents as Economic Indicators, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics (Winter 1998).)

  1. See my The Death Throes of Pro-IP Libertarianism. []
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To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.