Entretenir les fondements créatifs de la croissance

À travers le monde, certains gouvernements essaient d'encourager la croissance économique. Cependant, la croissance, avec le faible taux de chômage et l'amélioration du niveau de vie dont sont friands les hommes politiques, est le résultat d'une certaine créativité. Lorsque l'on s'aventure sur de nouveaux chemins dans le monde des affaires, de la science et des arts, on développe des inventions et des améliorations qui tirent l'économie vers l'avant. Ainsi donc, comment les gouvernements peuvent-ils, au delà de la simple rhétorique, promouvoir la créativité ?

La législation sur la propriété intellectuelle, les brevets d'invention et les droits d'auteur représente l'exemple le plus évident de politique gouvernementale pensée pour stimuler la créativité. Cette idée remonte à la Renaissance italienne, et la législation moderne sur les brevets d'invention fut conçue en Angleterre où, en 1624, la loi sur les monopoles fut mise en place pour accorder une exclusivité de 14 ans au « premier et véritable inventeur » de toute méthode de fabrication. La loi fut rentable pour les inventeurs dans la mesure où les bénéfices tirés de l'invention étaient liés aux dividendes économiques rapportés.

Cette approche peut rapporter de grosses sommes pour les inventions importantes, précisément ce qui est nécessaire si l'on veut inciter au mieux les citoyens à développer de nouveaux concepts audacieux, et nous a bien servi au fil des siècles depuis 1624. Mais jusqu'à récemment, la législation sur les brevets était basée sur une définition assez étroite de la créativité : généralement, le type de créativité qui prend forme sous l'apparence de l'invention d'un dispositif ou d'un procédé industriel.

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