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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 31, 2009

A Recommendation on How to Intelligently Approach Emerging Problems in Intellectual Property Systems

  • Douglass C. North
From the journal Review of Law & Economics


We currently have no framework that allows us to really understand how a political system works, and how property rights and patent systems evolved, and so we do not have a body of theory that allows us to make predictive statements that would in fact lead to improving the function of property rights and patent systems. The body of neoclassical economic theory is very elegant and very useful, but it cannot describe how a system is evolving. If we want to understand how patent systems work, we may not simply rely on understanding the economics of patent systems, there must be developed a structure of incentives that will continue to encourage people to innovate and transform solutions to solve new and different problems that evolve over time. What we would ideally like in a world that is dynamic, where change is going on both in the political system and in the economic system, is to have an adaptively efficient structure.

Published Online: 2009-12-31

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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