What if patents lasted 70 years?

For those who didn’t just run screaming from the room, let’s briefly discuss.

https://i0.wp.com/farm1.static.flickr.com/2/1583467_191d886988.jpg?resize=141%2C108What would happen if patents were like copyright and lasted for 70 years? Here are some examples:

  • Intellectual Ventures and other invention capital firms would be pretty happy, but the pirate party would not.
  • More effort would go into inventing-around patent claims.
  • More effort would go into invalidating patents at an earlier stage.
  • The lawyers and patent attorneys would love all of that. Perhaps better, lower cost mechanisms for determining validity and infringement would be brought to deal with the increased contention.
  • It would reinforce the differences between high quality and high value patents (which can’t be invalidated) which now last for much longer, and the low quality patents which are born with targets on their heads due the longevity of patents.
What would you add?
[Photo credit: Mark Strozier]


One Comment on “What if patents lasted 70 years?

  1. Very interesting points Duncan. 
    On the one hand I feel that the culture of innovative companies would become less innovative as they rest on their laurels watching the cash come in form their one great invention.
    On the other hand I think radical innovation would increase as people look for genuine work-arounds, not wanting to wait a career lifetime to have that big break.
    So would industry become more fragemented, without the ‘giants’ in each sector.
    I think the generic pharma industry would be in big trouble, as a 70 year old drug product would rarely have a big generic market due to much more effective classes of drug coming through.

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