Allerca cats, firms capturing the benefits from innovation

My book Freedomnomics has a paragraph on the fact that patens may not always be enough to capture the return to innovations, but that companies have still figured out ways to capture the benefits. One case that I pointed to regarding Allerca cats, which were neutered so that those who bought the cat wouldn't be able to breed them for resale. A picture of one of the first cats can be seen here. By the way, it is a very cute cat.

UPDATE: Science Blogs has pictures of multiple cats up. They also note that Time magazine found that this was one of the best inventions of 2006.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may want to hold up a bit before promoting Allerca. The whole thing appears to be a scam. It is believed that the Cat in New York that you showed on your blog is owned by a publicist that works for the company, not a real cat owner. Several articals have now been written on Simon Brodie, the founder of Allerca and Lifestyle Pets. (Search Google) Both companies may be scams designed to take large pet deposits and never actually deliver an actual allergy free cat. Breeders are reporting that the $22,000 Ashera cats are really just standard African Servals. Not really a good house cat to have around small children you don't want eaten.

7/05/2007 1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"pattens [sic] may not always be enough to capture the return to innovations"

Having not read the book, and correcting for the typographical error, what does that even mean?

p.s. heard about your book on michael medved show. sounds great.

7/05/2007 6:50 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous I:

I guess that we will have to see, but if you have a link proving that this picture is a fake, please share it with us. Thanks.

Dear Anonymous II:

We give patens to people so that they can recoup their investments in developing products. This is true for everything from drugs to books. There is a big cost developing a drug that can cure a disease but the cost of stamping out each pill once the drug has been developed is pretty small. If anyone could produce the drug once it is developed, you couldn't recoup the costs of development. Yet, as I point out in the book there can be problems recouping these development costs even when you have a paten. One example involves these cats where people could bred the cats that they buy and sell the offspring in competition with the originally inventor.

7/05/2007 11:48 PM  

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