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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford appeared on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes last weekend to discuss the problem with patents in our modern intellectual property-based economy. In the clip below, Crawford explains that “the expensive, loony unreality” of many tech companies is that “all they’re doing is inventing patents, not patenting inventions. It seems backwards, and it’s actually frustrating for the inventors involved and for everybody.”

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On the growth of so-called “patent troll” litigation, she notes that there are two major problems: “One is that you could box out your competition with the threat of this lawsuit, but also you’re making it very difficult for anybody else to invent something new… everybody’s afraid, and that’s no good for innovation.” So what’s the answer? Crawford suggests that it’s time to get really creative and “start over,” eliminating software patents entirely.

Captive Audience, Susan Crawford’s new book on the telecom industry and its growing monopoly power, hits shelves January 8.

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