Vanderbilt University law professor Sean Seymore says today's patent system is stifling scientific advances because of its requirement that applicants show a clear utility. Seymore, whose work focuses on the intersection of science and law and public policy, wants a greater emphasis on disclosure of details about innovations so that others can build on them.
“The patent system incentivizes the disclosure of information that the public might not otherwise get,” Seymore writes. “The disclosure adds to the sum of useful knowledge immediately – not at the end of the patent term but as soon as the patent document publishes.
“Patent theory contemplates that the early entry of useful knowledge into the public storehouse reduces research-and-development waste, spurs creativity, leads others to climb onto the patentee’s shoulders in seeking improvements or wholly new inventions, and, of course, extends the frontiers of science and technology.”
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