OPINION: US heavies NZ on software patents

Analysis of the costs and benefits of IP protection shows there is a tendency toward overprotection of IP in all our societies, particularly in the areas of copyright and patents. 

The analysis also shows the optimal rate of protection differs between countries and that it can differ across time as countries move through different stages of economic development.

The problems of overprotection are particularly acute for technology importing countries, including developing countries.

The analysis shows that for these countries, IP rights that are too strong will detract from innovation rather than promote it.

It’s not a question of protection, it’s how long and how broad that protection should be.