"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
9 Why isn't there more work on tools for thought today？11 Why isn't there more work on tools for thought today？Why isn't there more work on tools for thought today？How can we develop transformative tools for thought？2020-10-18Journal
Switching away from the viewpoint of individual companies, and to the viewpoint of society as a whole, not only do we want to incentivize invention, we also want ideas to move reasonably rapidly into the public domain. Think about fundamental tools for thought such as writing and the number system. Obviously, it's good that those spread throughout society, unencumbered by IP concerns! More broadly, many tools of thought become more valuable for society as they become more ubiquitous. Again, here the modern patent system has numerous well-known problems, striking a poor balance between private and public interest. While a well-designed patent system might very well help solve the public goods problem, the patent system we actually have seems poorly adapted to the problem.