Why are medical devices protected by patent law while medical procedures are exempt? And what about the government’s use of compulsory licenses to force pharmaceutical companies to produce certain drugs like CIPRO. These are two medical-related examples in a long list of arcane exceptions and arbitrary details written in to intellectual property (IP) law. It is commonly believed that IP rights, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks are necessary to foster innovation and protect the interests of the people and companies that create new products and ideas. Patent attorney Stephan Kinsella of the Mises Institute, holds an opposite view, and in this podcast with Michael Ostrolenk, discusses the growing movement that views IP law as not only anti-competitive and a barrier to innovation, but also as incompatible with true property rights. Michael and Stephan also talk about the evolution of IP from laws like the 1709 Statute of Queen Ann, an attempt by the monarchy to control the output of book printers, the influence of which carried into the copyright and patent provisions in the U.S. Constitution.
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