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Wednesday, 25 January 2012 18:00

KU professor hopes to impact patent laws

Written by  6News Staff

LAWRENCE - After KU law students spent last summer playing a simulation game with inventions and patents, a KU professor completed a study with strong results.

Professor Andrew Torrance says the study shows stronger patent laws can have detrimental effects on innovation.  “Weaker property rights led to more innovation, more productivity, and more wealth,” he said in a Skype interview Thursday afternoon.

This simulation helped put students in the mind set of being inventors. “Playing this game would invent inventions and then they would decide what to do with them," says Torrance. "Whether to buy them, to sell them, to sue other people who infringed their inventions."

To ensure the students put their best foot forward, they had real money waiting for the winner. In the end, everyone comes out on top.  The original inventor receives monetary compensation for their work and the person borrowing the base idea gets help to spin the wheels of their minds. "Perhaps their use of invention is an even more worthwhile use than the owner of the invention," says Torrence.

To read about the patent study, click here.

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