Rule Utilitarianism: The Controversy behind Software Patents
We live in a world where most humans act like sheep following the herd; most people would rather follow the crowd rather than think for themselves. From cheating on an exam to copying other people’s ideas, that seems to be the norm in our society: most people want the easy way out for everything, as thinking is actually hard to do. So for the very few people who do put effort into thinking and use their creativity to develop novel ideas and implement them through the commercialization of a product or service, they have to be rewarded so that all their effort, time, and money aren’t spent in vain.
From a rule utilitarian point of view, from a macroeconomic perspective, granting software patents by giving the exclusive right to sell, use,
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On the other hand, the majority, in this case all the consumers, not only in the U.S, but throughout the world, which amounts to millions, ends up paying too much for a product that could be sold for less. Monopoly creates scarcity and scarcity increases demand, thus elevating prices. If the patent wouldn’t have been granted to Photoshop, there would be other competitors who could have offered a software package similar to Photoshop at a considerable less price. This in turn would lead to more disposable income for consumers to spend on other things, thus increasing their overall aggregate happiness.
From a rule utilitarian point of view, by allowing patents to only consider the algorithm and not the functionality of a software or processes allows for healthy competition between companies who might decide to compete based on the same category of software products through the use of competitive advantage strategies instead of monopolizing a process the way Amazon does. This would give an upper hand to consumers because they would be filled with many choices to choose from depending on their needs, preferences, or lifestyles.
Consumers like similarity not only