In a speech given at a conference on research and innovation policy, the new Commissioner for Research and Innovation from Ireland, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, expressed a hope of “finally finding an agreement on the community patent”, similar in tone to the hope of her colleague Barnier to “be the last Commissioner who tries to finalise a deal on the European patent”.
In the 2010 Guglielmo Marconi Lecture given by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn at the “Innovation Summit of the Lisbon Council” on March 5th, we can hear the thinking of the new Research Commissioner pushing, as one might expect, to have more problems solved at a European and global level.
At See e.g. 4:30 ff it becomes most relevant to questions of the patent system, with the following messages:
In this context her call for the community patent could be interpreted as lip service to an eternal issue that may have become outdated meanwhile, reminiscent also of what her colleague Barnier said a few weeks earlier:
At 7:20 she stresses that R&D efforts must driven by global private networks and the role of European governments and the EU must exercise utter restraint when getting involved and make sure that they make up for market failures in a market-neutral way only.
The patent system is ideally intended to be a system that makes up for market failures in a market-neutral way. This is perhaps its single most important advantage compared to alternative systems with heavier emphasis on prizes and public research that have been discussed by economists in recent years.