Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 11, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2004

Sigrid Sterckx
Pages 81-88

A Critique of the Utilitarian Argument for the Patent System

Attempts to justify the patent system can be based on three grounds: (1) natural rights; (2) distributive justice; and (3) utilitarian (economic) arguments. Each of these arguments is problematic in many ways. The first two are dealt with very briefly. The utilitarian argument is discussed more in depth.