What’s Better, a Prize or a Patent?
An opinion piece in the New York Times extensively references a Resources Radio podcast about offering prizes for innovation.
In 1790 America’s founders started what became the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with the conviction that patents were more democratic than prizes, which, Khan says, tend to be given to those who are already famous. European nations in the 18th century relied more on prizes. “Elites have always distrusted markets” and preferred to trust the judgment of a “favored few,” Khan said in a podcast by the environmental group Resources for the Future based on her 2020 book, “Inventing Ideas: Patents, Prizes, and the Knowledge Economy.”