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Patent system

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A) On balance, is the patent system a good or bad thing? Explain.

B) Is government involvement in scientific research a good idea? Discuss

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A. This is a hard question because the benefits and costs of the patent system are not easily comparable. The idea of the patent system is that it allows people and companies to benefit from their R&D. This, in turn, provides a monetary incentive to engage in R&D. If we think of a pharmaceutical firm, it spends millions and millions of dollars trying to develop a drug and most of them don't make it past the lab, the trials, etc. Many companies, like Eli Lilly, have built themselves up by the lucky situation of having developed a best seller, like Prozac. The patent system is ...

Solution Summary

The expert discusses whether the patent system is a good or bad thing and whether government involvement in scientific research is a good idea.