“Not Seeing the Woods for the Trees”: Is the Patent System Still Fit for Purpose?



The patent system is more widely debated and criticized now than at any time since the 19th century. Predictably this produces more heat than light. Growth on the scale the system has seen in recent years must challenge received certainties. Current analytical priorities seem well focused, but we lack courage, clear ideas about how to respond and develop the system rather than patch it, and a willingness to shape change rather than be shaped by it.