It sure seems that way as he implies that greater patent and copyright protection are the wave of the future. He tells readers:
"The growing commitment of the American political system to intellectual-property protection and enforcement, like that in trade treaties, also hasn’t gained much explicit notice. This shift of priorities is likely to become more important as economies move toward creative production and information technology."
Already we lose close to $270 billion in patent rents on pharmaceuticals alone. This is roughly 1.6 percent of GDP or more than three times what the government spends on food stamps each year. This is money that is wasted paying more than free market price for drugs, which would almost invariably be cheap ($5-$10 per prescription) absent these government granted monopolies.
Even worse, patents monopolies give huge incentives to drug companies to lie to the public about the safety and effectiveness of their drugs. They routinely conceal or misrepresent information, just as economic theory predicts. There are more efficient ways to finance the development of drugs, but apparently Cowen thinks the drug industry will be sufficiently powerful from having them be considered in public policy debates. (Thus far he has been right.)
Government granted patent monopolies also likely slow innovation in other areas as well, most notably in the high tech sector where companies like Apple and Samsung compete at least as much in the courtroom over patent suits as in the marketplace.
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