The Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property, released a few days ago, looks like a fairly reasonable set of guidelines for thinking about innovation policy. Their one pager (PDF).
I found the history of the Royal Society for the Arts (sponsor of Adelphi) far more interesting than the charter itself. An excerpt:
The original name of the Society was Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. However, an alternative name quickly emerged – the “Premium Society”. Until the mid 19th century, the Society offered cash premiums to inventors and artists as a means of encouraging new and progressive works. This means of supporting innovation often meant hostility towards patents. The reasons for the conflict are complex.
Read the rest.