Archives for: June 2008

Sen. McCain, Meet the Patent System

Posted by Andrew on June 24th, 2008

We've known for months now that John McCain doesn't know how to use a computer, so it should come as no surprise that he talks about innovation policy as if it's an entirely new concept. We want a more efficient hybrid car battery, so let's pull a number out of the air -- $1 per U.S. citizen sounds good -- and award it as a prize to the person who invents one:

“I further propose we inspire the ingenuity and resolve of the American people,” Mr. McCain said, “by offering a $300 million prize for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars.”

He said the winner should deliver power at 30 percent of current costs. “That’s one dollar, one dollar, for every man, woman and child in the U.S. — a small price to pay for helping to break the back of our oil dependency,” he said.

And shame on Sen. Barbara Boxer for calling this a "gimmick." It's not like the federal government provides any form of ex post incentive for technological innovation already, does it?

The National Review loves the idea, of course. Conservatives just love it when government gets into the business of picking winners and losers in the competition for innovation. (Then again, maybe not.)

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Fantasy Baseball is Safe at the Plate

Posted by Andrew on June 3rd, 2008

Supreme Court denials of cert shouldn't be such big news, but the media has been all over yesterday's dismissal of CBC Marketing v. Major League Baseball, on appeal from the Eighth Circuit. My comments on the district court decision are here.

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An examination of the legal and technological structures that keep almost all of us voiceless, by Prof. Andrew Chin (who?) at the University of North Carolina School of Law and Prof. Jay Kesan at the University of Illinois College of Law

voiceless is a new blog. If you like what you've seen so far, please consider making voiceless a little less voiceless by adding a link to it from your blogroll!

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