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Of Profits, Patents, and Societal Value

The Utah Economist blog posts an interesting question in the context of intellectual property rights and profit protection – how much societal value creation or destruction is there in companies protecting their innovations through patents?

A similar dillemma can be found in matters as diverse as regulated utilities with a guaranteed return and Mickey Mouse’s copyright restrictions. A certain degree of protection helps motivate innovation, but when does it turn into an unjust protection of incumbents?

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