The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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IP rights and patents hurt the overall economy and grow wealth inequality.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,580 times Debate No: 25961
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
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Yo' mama's so stupid, she went to the dentist to get a blue tooth.

I intend to prove that existing Intellectual Property and patent laws restrict innovation and competition among businesses stunting the economy. The majority of the world's wealth and ownership of the means of production and property gravitates to a small group of elite creating a large wealth inequality.

Con should argue that the economy is better off with IP and patent laws, that they are not the cause of wealth inequality, or just refute my points as the burden of proof will be mine.

Round 1 acceptance and definitions
Round 2 Arguments only
Round 3 New Arguments, restating previous arguments, and rebuts.
Round 4 Same as round 3
Round 5 Rebuts, restates, closing statement. (No new arguments)

Every round must begin with a "yo' mama joke" and the best jokes will receive the vote for grammar and spelling. (Leave your bourgeois civility at the door!)


Yo' Mama so fat, she could pay off the national debt if she sat down and charged $2 per entry as a jumping castle.

Thank-you for putting forth a wonderful topic, and I was more than happy to accept this as my first debate on

I will be arguing that the world's best economies would not have been without innovation, and that innovation is protected and enhanced by IP and patent laws.

Please also excuse my poor 'yo mama' jokes, my only hope is that they are so pathetic it's funny.
Debate Round No. 1


Yo' mama's so short she has to slam dunk her bus fare.


Intellectual property laws date back hundreds of years ago with the first patent laws.

"The history of patents does not begin with inventions, but rather
with royal grants by Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603) for monopoly
privileges- that advanced her economic and industrial policies."

Mossoff, Adam, Rethinking the Development of Patents: An Intellectual History, 1550-1800.
Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 52, p. 1255, 2001; MSU Legal Studies Research Paper.
Available at SSRN:

I believe that this is true today as IP grants a monopoly over production for a specific amount of time. This monopoly restricts all legal competition. In a market where price is influenced by supply or demand, everything cost more since there are less people able to produce it. Competition keeps prices low and drives innovation. Competition between businesses also drives wages up. I believe IP laws hurt wages and increase prices, stunting the economy.

Here you can see the production of workers increase over time with innovation, but real wages ddidn't keep up:
You can see in the late 60's from the graph that productivity started to break away from real wages.
The World Intellectual Property Origination was established in 1967 by treaty as an agency of the UN.

An example of price increases, compare the cost of generic drugs (drugs made after the patent is over) and name brand drugs (before the generic drug was available). The patent holder drugs cost many more times the cost of the generic drug.

IP creates artificial scarcity. While this may cause higher prices in many industries, it starves and kills people in the food and drug industries. While food cannot have a patent(more on that later), genetically modified organisms and medicine are capable of being patented. Ben Franklin an avid inventor didn't believe patents were good for his fellow man. He invented the Pennsylvania Fireplace (later renamed to the Franklin Stove). He said, "Governor Thomas was so pleas'd with the Construction of this Stove, as describ'd in it, that he offer'd to give me a Patent for the sole Vending of them for a Term of Years; but I declin'd it from a Principle which has ever weigh'd with me on such Occasions, viz. That as we enjoy great Advantages from the Inventions of Others, we should be glad of an Opportunity to serve others by any Invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously."

Auto-biography [Part III, p. 98] (emphasis mine)

Countless people did not burn in a house fire or freeze because they could afford a new stove that produced less smoke, more heat, conserved more wood, and caused less fires because a patent was not used for it. Furthermore: Franklin read a book from an engineer on chimneys that was translated by a French immigrant. He based his first design on new scientific findings of a Dutch physician inspired by Isaac Newton. If all of those had patents on their intellectual property, we still might not have a Franklin Stove invented to this day. (from wikipedia: Franklin stove)

Proponents say that IP is needed to protect profits to recoup the cost of research and development. If 10 drug companies are spending money to develop a new drug and only one company is awarded the patent, the other 9 drug companies have wasted all of their R&D money with no way to regain their cost. Profits are also wasted protecting IP in court and large lawsuits. $1 billion was recently awarded to Apple from Samsung over a new cell phone design.

Fashion, food (recipes), and Fragrances can all not be patented. Yet how often is a shirt, dish, or cologne created? How are their profits protected after spending money on research and development? Since patent laws create a black market of "off-brand" goods, it increases the criminal element of society and further hurts profits, while endangering distributors and consumers.

Thomas Jefferson once said in a letter to Isaac McPherson on August 13, 1813:

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

The Environmental and Trade Handbook of the International Institute for Sustainable Development says "Intellectual property rights are patents, copyrights or other means of protecting an innovator's exclusive ability to control the use of his or her innovation for a specified period. During that time the intellectual property rights holder will usually try to market and sell the idea, seeking to recoup his or her investment in research and development. Intellectual property rights trade off the welfare of the innovator, whose efforts deserve compensation, against the welfare of society at large, which would benefit by having unlimited access to the innovation." These supporters of IP admit its laws hurt society.

Abuse and fraud stems from IP laws. I have already talked about the common black market violation of IP laws. (Who hasn't seen a knock off Coach handbag?) It is also not enforceable since these products are mostly made in different countries with different IP laws. Other ways it corrupts the innovation process is by awarding all Universities with patents of graduate students. The Universities control how much the students must conduct research and the students are paying for it instead of getting paid for creating the University's IP. Text books are another common monopoly of copyright laws. 2/3rds of all publications are made by a few companies awarded these rights year after year. Businesses will also purchase patents they never intend to use in order to restrict competition.

IP laws creates a barrier to market. If you have an idea, with IP laws "protecting" you, you have a much harder time getting the actual patent unless you have capital. This means that patents are really a privilege and not a right as it requires money instead of just ideas by themselves. This increases the economic gap between the extremely wealthy and the working poor which is not good for the economy.


hamishrr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I would also like to forfeit this round to give con another few days to respond.


hamishrr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


yo mamma's so ugly, Rice Crispies won't even talk to her.

Since we can't really continue this debate in this fashion, I just wanted to add that IP laws are not needed to protect profits. Open source software like linux, android, wikipedia, youtube and open office are great examples how innovation should be expanded to everyone and not just patent holders. In the words of Professor Farnsworth from Futurama, "How dare I modify something I own to make it better."


hamishrr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Yo mamma's so stupid she got locked in a grocery store and died of starvation!

Vote Pro!!!
Please comment if you would like to try this debate from Cons side.


hamishrr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by daniel.droege5 5 years ago
I try my best to use proper grammar. I think it is silly to detract from the main argument with attacks on grammar and spelling. Some people were self-educated and do not come from privileged backgrounds. If I excluded their perspective because of how they talk or type, I would be missing out on many things. Since the jokes replace the grammar vote, my opponent and I can focus on topics and clear any grammar ambiguity in later rounds.
Posted by RationalMadman 5 years ago
I fail to see how the yo mamma jokes got involved...
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