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The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.


#295: The Patent War

August 2nd, 2011

Episode 397 of 964 episodes

Patents are supposed to promote innovation. But in the world of software and the Internet, they're having precisely the opposite effect.Tech companies are spending billions of dollars to buy up patents — not to drive innovation, but to defend themselves from potential lawsuits. There's a legal war on in Silicon Valley, and patents are the weapons.We talked about this issue recently on This American Life and All Things Considered. On today's podcast, we ask: How much is the patent war costing us? And what does it mean for innovation in America?For answers, we talk to Jim Bessen, an entrepreneur and researcher, and Eric Maskin, a Nobel-prize-winning-economist.

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