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A New Justification for Granting Patents

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I have spent the morning reading a fascinating article by Professor Mark Lemley entitled "The Myth of the Sole Inventor" which you can download free of charge from the Social Science Research Network. Prof. Lemley holds the Neukom chair at Stamford University and, despite the assertion of one of his detractors that he is not a patent attorney, he is also a partner of Durie Tangri which is a San Francisco law firm specializing in IP. The article seems to have appeared in the MLR (not our Modern Law Review but something published by the "U of M Law School" which could be the University of Michigan but equally the University of Maryland).
The article seems to have stimulated some hostility around the blogosphere. The same reviewer who denied that Prof. Lemley was a patent attorney described his article as "a socialist diatribe". Having read the article very carefully and more particularly having lived under several governments by a party that once described i…