Texas Wesleyan Law Review


Don Tiller

Document Type



Recently, it has been argued that the U.S. patent system is broken and has become a social burden, merely serving to grant unnecessary economic monopolies at the expense of consumers without creating an extra incentive to invent; or worse, that the patent system actually reduces incentive to invent. These critics contend that, in effect, the patent system functions as both a short- and long-run economic burden on society. The result has been a strong effort to reduce the extent of patent rights at both the legislative and judicial branches of government. Some of the proposed reforms, and the policies on which they are based, favor short-run consumer benefits over the long-run goal of continued American invention. These reforms have the potential to lessen the United States' position as a world economic and technological leader. A brief model of the economics of invention is presented in Section II of this Comment. In Section Ill, several aspects of the patent system that serve as incentive to invent are described. Specific common critiques of the patent system are presented in Section IV, along with the proposed reforms and an analysis of their effects on the incentive to invent.



First Page


Last Page