The American Association for the Advancement of Science recently conducted a survey on the effect of patenting on the sciences. The results are frightening: 1/5th or more of all research projects in the United States are being chilled by patent holders.

Of the 40% of respondents who reported their work had been affected [by patents], 58% said their work was delayed, 50% reported they had to change the research, and 28% reported abandoning their research project. The most common reason respondents reported having to change or abandon their research project was that the acquisition of the necessary technologies involved overly complex licensing negotiations.

I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose between preserving scientific research and preserving the patent system, the choice of which to keep and which to reform is pretty clear.

If you’d like things to change, maybe you should send a nice letter explaining these findings to your Senators and Congressional Representatives, and urge them to draft/support legislation that decreases the ability of patent-holders to stifle research and innovation.

More here.