Yes, Boldrin and Levine keep saying the same thing over and over again, but they sure get better and better at saying it:
If a well-designed patent system would serve the intended purpose, why recommend abolishihg it? Why not, instead, reform it? To answer the question we need to investigate the political economy of patents: why has the political system resulted in the patent system we have? Our argument is that it cannot be otherwise: the “optimal” patent system that a benevolent dictator would design and implement is not of this world and it is pointless to advocate it as, by doing so, one only offers an intellectual fig-leaf to the patent system we actually have, which is horribly broken. It is fine to recommend reform but, if politics make it impossible to accomplish that reform, if they make it inevitable that if we have a patent system it will fail, then abolition – preferably by constitutional means as was the case in Switzerland and the Netherlands prior to the late 19th century – is the proper solution and proposals of reform are doomed to fail. This logic of political economy brings us to the view that we should work toward a progressive dismantlement of the patent system.