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Reform of the Patent Law in Britain


THE article on "Reform of the Patent Law in Britain"1 criticizes my proposals for patent reform on the grounds that they would reduce the profitability of inventions to financial backers. I would maintain that my proposals would in general have no such effect. I have recommended that the Government should pay patentees rewards in proportion to the economic advantage arising from the application of their patents. Hence the wider these applications (be it by competitors of the patentees or by others) the higher the gains accruing to patentees. It is in fact an essential point of the proposed reform that it would not on the whole take away any of the financial stimulus for the exploitation of patents while leaving everyone free to use them. Even though a closer analysis might reveal cases in which the present form of patents would be somewhat more lucrative to patentees, these cases could be balanced by others in which the reverse would hold.


  1. Nature, 155, 612 (1945).

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POLANYI, M. Reform of the Patent Law in Britain. Nature 156, 54 (1945).

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