Comment: Dr. Rothbard's Commentary on Patents and Copyrights

(See in situ)

In reply to comment: "The most popular argument (see in situ)

Dr. Rothbard's Commentary on Patents and Copyrights

I read section 7 as you provided. Thank you for including that.

Dr. Rothbard wrote: "Patent, then, has nothing to do with implicit theft. It confers an exclusive privilege on the first inventor, and if anyone else should, quite independently, invent the same or similar machine or product, the latter would be debarred by violence from using it in production."

I agree with his philosophy to the point about independent development of a similar device already patented. In the universe of thought, many people have independently created similar or even the same methods to build a machine that does work.

However as I wrote earlier, when a person outright steals another's invention protected by an existing patent, that is wrong.

For example; a contest is offered by a wealthy person, say Scrooge McDuck. Mr. McDuck wants a machine designed and built to accomplish some work. He puts an advertisement in various national newspapers calling on all inventors to enter the challenge with a prize awarded for the design that he thinks works the best.

Many engineers apply and put forth their efforts. Machines are built, many of which look the same and function similarly. But one stands out and McDuck awards the prize to him or her.

The engineers all apply for patents to protect their work even though the inventions function the same. Don't they deserve exclusive control of their individual design? I believe they do.

Some would argue, "If the machines operate the same, who's design should take precedent?" My opinion is, "let the free market decide that!"

Inventors have a right to protect their inventions through the patent process, even those machines that function the same as another's work.

So maybe the argument is that patent law has to change relative to the exclusivity of the final work. Plaintiffs in patent litigation have to demonstrate the defendant transgressed the original design by theft as opposed to a wholly owned and separate but similar invention.