Anti-Patent Trash Talk Hurts Economy –
Hon. Paul Michel, Chief Judge for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), who left the bench recently after serving for 22 years has no plans for a quiet retirement. He has been lobbying congress as a private citizen for patents and patent holders rights, and has been encouraging others to.
The former Chief Judge of the highest patent court believes now is the time to speak out against patent bashing, which, he believes, is motivated primarily by self-interest.
In an interview with Judge Michel conducted by Joe Mullin that appears in the Fall issue of Intellectual Property, a supplement to the September Corporate Counsel, the 69-year old judicial veteran pulls no punches. The piece is called “There Goes the Judge,” no doubt a play on “Here Comes da Judge,” a cultural catch-phrase made popular by comedian Flip Wilson on the “Laugh-In” TV series.
“I think there has been a huge PR campaign against patents and a lot of myths have been created about what patents are and how they work.”
“There are some 30,000 companies in the United States that have at least 100 employees. And 15 of them — ten Silicon Valley-type companies, and a handful of Wall Street financial firms — have driven the entire patent reform debate. What about the other, 29,985?
“… They’re the companies that get sued a lot and lose a lot and have to pay substantial damages in some cases. From their narrow standpoint, maybe a much weaker patent system and low damages and no injunctions look really good. But from the standpoint of the overall economy, I think weakening the patent system looks like a very poor idea.”
My perspective on Judge’s Michel’s recent New York Times op-ed addressing how patents can be used to stimulate the economy by creating jobs will run in the next Intangible Investor, due out in a few weeks.
Image source: http://portraitsbylindy.com/gallery/ga_007.html