Been very busy with other things, so this is a "catching up" post.
1. I was offered the opportunity to syndicate an article. Usually these things are scams, but in this case it seems to be legitimate. The article in question seems to have some interesting stuff about non-practicing entities (i.e. patent trolls).
2. Ruth Lewis has a nice post pointing to yet more example of innovation that thrives without effective IP.
3. Riccardo DiCecio points to a long and detailed article about the original of patent trolling in Wired...
4. and Sylvain Ribault directs us to an article in Nature that the Chinese are headed down our same bad path - but luckily for both us and them, haven't arrived yet.
The Ruth Lewis post is interesting, but incomplete. The very economies that are supposedly thriving without IP gain a good portion of their GDP by the production of products covered by IP and then exported to countries that have strong IP. Correlation is not causation, and in the cases of the countries mentioned, their success is more due to a combination of cheap labor and a government environment that rewards exports by helping to subsidize them, which is a different kind of government interference, but usually even more effective than IP in economies of the BRIC countries.
So, are the BRIC countries growing without IP. No. It is just that the IP is owned by the companies for whom they build in the countries to which they export, and not necessarily IP in those countries. So the statement that this countries are succeeding without IP is not only misleading, but wrong.
The comment regarding the Sylvain Ribault article also seems a bit off. The comment says that the Chinese are heading down the same bad path, but are not there yet. Yet, the Chinese have more patent applications and more IP litigation (by a factor of two) than the U.S. Headed down the same bad path? More like forging new paths. The article also proclaims several times that for innovators to be protected, IP protections need to be properly implemented.