David Martin

David Martin: the incentive to understand effects of patents

So we have this giant conundrum of "we don't have the data, we don't understand the research, we don't understand the economic consequences of intellectual property", however, we're going to have the incentives to understand it (smile). And the incentive is: the illiquidity of our banking system.
Now, you came here to talk about patents, and you came here to talk about patent quality and you came here to talk about patent economics. I'm here to tell you that the day has come when we actually have to pay the piper. And what we have to do is we have to agree that we can't keep arguing this wonderful esoteric feel-good arguments about whether the patents are good or bad. Because at the end of the day it doesn't matter. When capital resources dry out, not in the SME market but in all the markets, because credit costs go up by a 125%, I can assure you that the incentive to talk about reform is changing remarkably. It's changing in some very dramatic fashions. And if you don't believe me, ask why I was as an economist, why I was the only economist to talk about the globalised mortgage allegation failure of the economy before it happened. And then ask yourself, might I be onto something with this whole Basel II thing. I would suggest that rather than talking about reforming the patent system and optimising the patent system, we actually talk about the accountability for the innovation system at large. And we talk about the fact that we need to do a better job with understanding the economic consequence for a system which is out of control. Thank you.