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Additional info for An economic review of the patent system (Study of the Subcommittee on Patents, Trade-marks, and Copyrights of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, study)

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Jority of economists+hanged the character of economic discourse and commentary on the patent system. The flow of books, pamphlets, and articles on the economics of patent protection came to a stop; economists had lost interest in the patent question and turned to other problems. This does not mean that nothing was written about the economic consequences of the patent system-but lawyen, engineers, and historians mere the chief writers. Economists authoring general economic texts could not help, of course, including some comments on the patent system; but the absence of references to the heated controvery of 1650-73 seems to indicate that they were not familiar with this literature a,nd, instead, toolr their cues from the economic "bible1' of the time, John Stuart Mill's Principles of Political Economy, at least for the first 50 years of the period here considered.

Burns examines the circumstances under which suppression is apt to occur 217 and John Maurice Clark does likewise in an analysis which should command the respect of experts on both sides of the issue: A * * * there is still a suspicion that patents are bought for the purpose of putting them to sleep. Here, assuming the fact for purposes of analysis, we have overhead costs behaving strangely. A capital outlay is incurred, not to secure the aid of an instrument of production but to prevent i t from being used, and from depreciating the value of existing processes by its competition.

Supra, note 91, pp. 3h3L Id.. p. 30. " Emnomlm,newseries, vol. I (1934),pp. 46-97, lei One nods occas~onnlcomments on the desirability of a shorter dnration for petty patents-as is Proon the praotimbility of a flexible duration to be set by the courts to allow vided in the German law-r reasonable prolits from the invention-as provided in the Australian law :but no attempts to apply e m nomic analysis to the problem. 1~~ In other places Marshall had proposed that industries operating under < '.

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