Tag Archives: patent reform
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Rohrabacher to Congress: “Don’t let the ‘Innovation Act’ be a part of our legacy”

Not everyone agrees that another round of patent reform is necessary at this time.

Doubters believe that the Innovation Act, H.R. 9 in its current form, will not improve the United States patent system, but merely make it more acceptable to some of the businesses threatened by it.

Three recent articles make compelling arguments against the current bill, which is largely identical to the one (HR 3309) that passed the full House in late 2013 that died in the Senate

Thirteen-term Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, (R-Southern California), is not a supporter of this bill. His recent op-ed in The Washington Times is worth reading. It’s called “Patent ‘reform’ is killing the right to invent – How a congressional misstep could imperil creativity.”

“Just because a measure holds itself up as ‘tort reform’ should not mean it escapes the scrutiny of free-market Republicans. It should instead call for a skeptical second look, and then more throughout its progress. Guaranteed: Such close-eyed analyses of this bill will encourage deep suspicion…

“This Republican Congress must not allow this creativity-killing legislation to be a part of its legacy.”

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Considered one of the most influential thinkers in legal academia, Richard Epstein is known for his research and writings on a broad range of constitutional, economic, historical, and philosophical 3_1_2015_b1-rora-patent-law-8201_s878x512subjects. He believes even more strongly than Congressman Rohrabacher that H.R. 9 is not the bill necessary to move the patent system forward.

In fact, its restrictions will move it back, and make the U.S. less competitive with other innovative economies.

“The situation is dangerous, says Epstein, because Goodlatte’s bill violates three fundamental rules of legislative reform,” Professor Epstein wrote recently in Forbes.

“It moves too quickly.  It develops a set of unneeded ad hoc rules for patent litigation.  And it has a multitude of costly but unnecessary procedural innovations.  Viewed as a whole, the Goodlatte bill combines dangerous rigidity with excessive discretion.”

The article is called Patent Law Gone Awry.”

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In a recent PatentlyO Ted Sichelman, of the Univeristy of San Diego School of Law, says the proposed Innovation Act’s “fee-shiftng is biased and against patent holders,” and that it will likely lead to increased PAE (patent assertion entity) activity, not less. 

“The upshot of these provisions,” says Sichelman, “is to massively skew fee-shifting against the interests of patent holders, leading to an asymmetric risk that would very likely cause risk-averse inventors and assignees to avoid directly enforcing their patents, sometimes even strong ones.” The article can be found here

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Congressman Rohrabacher’s and Professors Epstein’s and Sichelman’s recent pieces make for interesting reading, especially if you are among the many who are concerned about how new ideas get nurtured and shared.

 Image source: The Washington Times

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Obama Drinks the Kool-Aid on Weaker Patents, “Trolls”

The President’s confusion about innovation and what needs reform will likely undermine American competitiveness.

In a recent Fireside Hangout on Google+ President Obama said that the U.S. needs to go much further on patent reform, singling out patent trolls, “who don’t actually produce anything themselves” and are “just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.”

The President’s inability to recognize who in fact is gaming the patent system, and what is to blame for tech companies’ frustrations regarding patent enforcement, will have a material impact on the American people and the economy.

Below is an excerpt from the remarks he made on Google+ last week:

Question: High tech startups are an important engine of the American economy. When I go around and talk to other entrepreneurs, what I hear is that they’re afraid that if they become successful, they’re going to be targeted by patent trolls… What are you planning to do to limit the abuse of software patents?…

Obama: A couple of years ago we began a process of patent reform. We actually passed some legislation that made progress on some of these issues. But it hasn’t captured all the problems.

The folks that you’re talking about are a classic example. They don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them. Sometimes these things are challenging. Because we also want to make sure that patents are long enough, and that people’s intellectual property is protected. We’ve got to balance that with making sure that they’re not so long that innovation is reduced.

But I do think that our efforts at patent reform only went about halfway to where we need to go. What we need to do is pull together additional stakeholders and see if we can build some additional consensus on smarter patent laws.

Myth-Baiting

One wonders how the myth-baiting question about trolls potentially “targeting entrepreneurs,” and Obama’s disturbingly uninformed response, got to be featured in Google+ post-State-of-the-Union Fireside Hangout? President Obama is depicted on the chat as social media-savvy, commiserating with diverse innovators, a forward-thinking and transparent chief executive.

TechCrunch, one of most virulently anti-patent publications, wasted no time in jumping on the President’s comments and making them sound even more misguided than they are: “He url[Obama] admitted that there was a problem, and that there were some companies who were clearly not doing anything other than trying to ‘extort’ money from others. Furthermore, while he pointed to the patent reform bill that passed in 2011, he also admitted that it really only went ‘halfway’ towards reforming the patent system as far as it needed to go.” (For some reason the 47 minute chat is marked “private” on YouTube. You can view it here via Mashable.)

What Invention Theft?

President Obama made no mention of the rampant invention theft by tech companies that takes place in the U.S. and abroad at a cost of billions of dollars to small and medium-sized businesses, to universities and to American jobs.

Non-practicing (patent-holding) entities (aka “trolls”), which include inventors, SMEs, are a convenient scapegoat for tech companies that lack the patents they need for freedom to sell products, or do not want to pay for access to rights to do so. The economics of invention theft are in their favor, given the poor likelihood of detection, the cost of litigation, and the uneven chances of plaintiff success.

Despite owning a lot of patents, many tech companies fear strong rights, especially in the software area, because patents are potentially disruptive to their business and future, and the possibility of a product-halting injunction is always in the air. (Financial services is another industry that would just as soon see the meaning of patent rights gutted.)

NPEs have been accused of filing more suits than operating businesses. This is true because there are there many more infringed inventions today; NPEs are more experienced generating returns on patents; and they often have access to capital to fund costly suits that others do not. In short, NPEs are better suited to monetize IP rights, and more patent holders are willing to sell to or partner with them — a partnership that strikes fear in the hearts of businesses from Silicon Valley to Seoul.

Not all Trolls are Alike

There are some NPEs who abuse the legal system by asserting questionable patents and angling for a quick settlement to make an expensive defense to go away. Such dubious IP holders are in it for the nuisance value. Most of the patent assertion that I and others are aware of involve good quality patents that are valid and significantly infringed, sometimes knowingly, some times not. The economics of litigation today are such that a quick settlement is rarely profitable given the risks and costs. If a patent holder does not have quality patents and is not eligible for significant potential damages, it almost never makes sense for a holder (or good contingent law firm) to spend its time and money.

Google+, is a social network akin to Facebook. Google has made no secret of its disdain for patents, especially software patents which have the potential to endanger its dominant position as the Internet search provider of choice. (It will be interesting to see if Google attempts to suppress the distribution of this post.)

Sadly, President Obama has emerged as a champion of the technology establishment in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, who stand to lose more from strong patents than gain. Perhaps his support represents pay-back for the support it provided for his re-election. Going up against well-funded political action committees (PACs) is no easy feat.

America’s future will suffer if patents are further weakened and legitimate patent enforcement made even more difficult than they have been over the past few years. (The SHEILD Act, for “Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Dispute,” would have a non-practicing patent holder who fails to win a suit it brings, pay defense legal fees in an attempt to foster a double standard. NPEs exist in part because SMEs and others lack the time, experience and financial acumen to go against businesses with virtually unlimited litigation budgets.)

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It’s short-sighted of the President to cede the future of American innovation and job creation to technology businesses that use their formidable resources to defend their turf rather than break new ground, or permit others to.

Illustration source: pcmagazine.com; topnewstoday.com

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“Patent Failure” Fails to Recognize Danger of Too Much Repair

A Reply to Professors Bessen and Meurer’s Book About the Difficulty of Perfecting the Patent System

By Roya Ghafele and Benjamin Gibert

The publication of Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk (Princeton University Press, 2008) by James Bessen and Michael Meurer challenged the conventional wisdom on the relationship between patents and innovation.

The authors basically posit that the poor boundary definitions of patents result in over-litigation. Arguing that the costs of litigation create disincentives for innovators, Bessen and Meurer suggest that the IP system has fundamentally failed as a system of property rights for public firms in the USA. Industry analysts and public commentators have jumped on the findings to justify various positions in patent reform debates. Patrick Anderson and Joff Wild have already responded to some of the shortcomings in the Patent Failure study, particularly with regard to the interplay between infringement suits, stock prices and NPEs.

Assessing the Damage

Bessen and Meurer have clearly taken a leaf from their own book. The conclusion that badly defined patent scope results in costly litigation is based on narrow definitions of patent trolls, public firms, high-technology industries and litigation costs. While this narrow scope is necessary to make their analysis feasible, the accompanying qualifications to their conclusions seem to have been lost in the ensuing storm. Patents do still provide incentives to individual inventors and to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. They are also likely to provide positive incentives for private firms operating in multiple sectors. Yet, round after round of Chinese whispers has morphed the study into a declaration that the patent system is fundamentally broken, rather than an exploration of where it is challenged, why it faces problems and how we can solve them.

That major high-technology firms supported the study, which concluded that patents on software are too abstract and ill-defined, naturally raises some questions. It is not surprising that major software patent infringers would welcome a declaration of a broken patent system. However, regardless of funding, these types of studies still fulfill important roles: 1) they encourage debate on the efficacy of the current IP system; 2) they identify avenues for possible reform. Perhaps it is here that Bessen and Meurer have the most to offer.

Specialized courts such as the Federal Circuit have expanded their influence over patent law in the past twenty years. Whether or not this means patents no longer work, it is important to recognize this development and understand its impact in the USA. Identifying detailed mechanisms to render patent claims more transparent and improve patent search is another welcome contribution. Yet the suggestion that increased patent fees can reduce the number of patent applications may come at the cost of locking out smaller innovators and gearing the patent system towards large corporate actors.

No Easy Solutions

While the economic and philosophic underpinnings of Patent Failure are easy to follow and coherent, there seems to be less reflection about the possible consequences of their recommendations. Other suggestions, such as exemptions from infringement repayments when technology is invented independently from the patent owner, seem useful on the surface but may prove extremely difficult to implement in practice.

Perhaps Bessen and Meurer’s most important contribution is simply the idea that the patent system must recognize the limits of its grasp, regardless of whether we currently know how to set those limits. By recognizing these limits we can start to understand how national institutions can support patent law to fuel innovation in an era of new challenges and opportunities.

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Dr. Roya Ghafele is the Director of Oxfirst Limited, a boutique consulting firm focusing on the economics of innovation and IP. Within the University of Oxford, she holds Fellowships at the Said Business School, the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre and St. Cross College. Dr. Ghafele worked as an Economist with the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  After having toured for five years as a ballet dancer she began her career in 2000 with McKinsey & Company. Dr. Ghafele is a consultant to Brody Berman Associates. roya.ghafele@oxfirst.com

Benjamin Gibert is a Research Associate with Oxfirst Ltd. Prior to joining the firm he was a research Associate in the University of Oxford where he graduated with distinction from Oxford and from Warwick University.
benjamin.gibert@oxfirst.com

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Patent Reform Effectively Ends Multi-Party Suits, Says Expert

Filing Costs Will Rise; Post-Grant Reviews Will Impede

Dear Bruce,

A new provision I just became aware of in an article by Morrison & Foerster regarding the Joinder and Consolidation provisions of the new American Invents Act absolutely kills a patent owner’s right to sue multiple defendants in a single suit. (AIPLA Lexology Sept. 15, 2011).

In addition, there are ambiguities making it unclear whether a patent owner can sue an infringer and component suppliers of that infringer in a single suit.  Even if you file 20 separate suits in the same court, the court is likely to transfer most of the cases out to defendants’ home jurisdictions based on forum non conveniens.

Sorting it Out

This new patent law is a total disaster on almost all provisions and will take years to sort out.  It is perfect for the big-company infringers who do not want to pay others for infringing upon their patents.  They can throw their patent worries out the window. 

When a client asks a patent attorney how much it will cost to obtain my patent, they have no idea how to answer.  It could run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get past the Post Grant Reviews.  For example, a patent issues and 20 companies each file separate Post Grant Review Petitions, each citing different prior art.  It will be a nightmare for the PTO and cost the patent applicant a fortune in fees.

More Obstacles; Dangerous Consequences

I believe that the number of patents that get through all the obstacles now in place at the PTO and the rising backlog of applications requiring examination will dramatically decrease the number of actual patents sought and enforced by applicants.  Both big and small companies alike may decide it no longer makes economic sense to pursue patents.  That result insures that U.S. companies and other infringers from all over the world will have a free ticket to flood theU.S.with cheap infringing products to further emasculate the U.S .economy.  The supporters of this new law may wish they had never sought it.  The potential unintended consequences have been ignored in the rush to satisfy the special interests currently running the U.S.

This new law throws the USPTO under a train, burdening it with enormous new tasks and no additional funds to run an already overburdened and overworked entity charged with managing the flow of patentable innovation into our economy. According to former Chief Judge of the CAFC, Paul Michel, the PTO has been shown to have the worst IT system of any federal agency.  Worse, this new law assures that jobs in this country will continue to be destroyed and investment in innovation decreased.

Economic Impact

We are back to the days of Standard Oil in the early 1900s, when Teddy Roosevelt took on the trusts and busted some of them.  Who will now step up to do that job again?  In the last 100 years those old trusts have been replicated in the current IT, financial and other oligopolistic industries that are crushing our economy and destroying the U.S. middle class.

A suggested motto for the new patent law: “Bottle Up Patents in the PTO and If They Ever Get Past the PTO, Patent Owners Can Only Sue a Single Infringer in an Infringement Suit.”

Irving S. Rappaport, Esq., CLP
Palo Alto,CA

Image source: urbanchristiannews.com

VIDEO:

Judge Paul Michel, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1988-2010 analyzes the Patent Reform Bill at the USBIC (U.S. Business & Industry Council) Senate briefing, September 6, 2011


Pat Choate, economist and author of Hot Property, comments as a member of the USBIC panel before the Senate briefing.

Guest Column: “America Invents Act Will Slow Investment”

Veteran IP Exec Says Patent Bill Will Have a Strongly Negative Impact on Economy & Jobs –

America Invents Act Will Encourage Anything But
by Irving S. Rappaport

The recent passage of The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 is a blow to innovation and U.S. innovation investment, as well as to the economy as a whole.  This inaptly named bill will have the exact opposite effect of what its title suggests.

As a result of the changes in the law, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will become more dysfunctional than it already is.  It will be buried under an avalanche of additional work for which it will receive no additional resources or funding.

Continuing diversion of PTO fees will further cripple the PTO under an ever-growing mountain of work.  I believe fee diversion is unconstitutional.  The fees are not public monies, but belong to the patent applicants.  There is no statutory  basis for Congress to take these funds.  It represents an unauthorized tax on innovation.  Yet the politicians all claim that they are unwilling to levy new taxes.

Sec. 18 essentially guts any patents relating to the financial industry.  I believe this provision is discriminatory and unconstitutional as it unfairly favors a particular industry by making it necessary for inventions relating to the financial industry to overcome more obstacles than any other type of inventions.  I think this provision will be challenged in the courts and may well be overturned.  Just as the banks were let off the hook for the 2008 meltdown, the financial industry is being given a free pass on financially related patents.

First to file will definitely favor the big companies over individual inventors and small companies.

The Post Grant Reviews allow prior art in the form of prior use and public disclosures to be presented before the PTO, even though the PTO is not set up for handling that kind of evidence.  All software and business method patents have become weaker and less likely to be found valid.

Because there are so many changes in the new law, it will take the courts 10 to 15 years to sort out what these new provisions really mean.  I believe the PTO will have a difficult time coming up with a meaningful definition of “technological invention” under Sec. 18.

Infringers are going to have a much easier time avoiding liability and patent owners are going to have a much more difficult time getting their patents through the morass at the PTO and greater difficulty in enforcing their patents.

Overall, the U.S. Patent System has been dealt a serious blow, significantly weakening it for years to come. Not only will this new patent law fail to create more innovation and investment in innovation, but it will also destroy more jobs and discourage individual inventors, as well as investments in innovation.  Additionally, this comes at the worst possible time when the U.S. economy is on the verge of going into another deep recession, if we are not already in recession.

The infighting among individual Senators and Representatives to get their favors in the bill for specific companies and industries is shameful and disgraceful.  The manner in which this patent “deform” legislation was passed represents a microcosm of what ails our current economic, financial, and governmental systems – they all no longer work because the special interests are totally in control of the country.

Although the entire system is in gridlock, hopefully the voters will decide to take this country back from the special interests.

Primary image source: american.com                                                                                                   ___________________________________

Irving Rappaport has served as the head of IP departments at Apple, National Semiconductor and Medtronic, and held significant positions at Data General and Raytheon. He was recruited by Bally-Midway to chase Pac-Man clones during the first video game revolution, and came to Silicon Valley as Associate General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Licensing at Apple, where he built its IP department (1984-90). Irving also was a consultant to Intel and was responsible for suggesting the much copied Intel Inside® campaign. He has served as an expert witness in 32 cases and is a co-inventor on 16 U.S. patents. Earlier in his career he served as a USPTO patent examiner and a U.S. Army officer.


Schumer: Strike Affirmed Patents That Cost Banks $400m

Senator Seeks Free IP Pass for Banks –

Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, a staunch supporter of financial institutions in his home state, is seeking a double standard for patent rights that have been both granted and re-examined.

He is helping banks try to reverse a patent ruling that has required them to pay $400 million in legal settlements and license fees to a small Texas company, Data Treasury Corp.

A provision inserted by Schumer into the long-awaited “American Invents Act” (H.R. 1249), which according to sources is will come before the House starting on Wednesday, June 22 at noon EST, appears to have only one aim: Strip DataTreasury Corp., of Plano, Texas, of a patent for processing digital checks that has made the company wealthy at banks’ expense. At least two House members are said to want the provision removed.

In November 2005, First Data Corporation filed a request for a reexamination of the DataTreasury Ballard patents citing numerous earlier publications that it felt either anticipated the DataTreasury inventions or made them obvious. In 2007, the USPTO not only upheld both patents but further allowed DataTreasury to claim additional inventions that were disclosed but not claimed in the original applications.

Reported the The New York Times:

“[Inventor Claudio Ballard] bristles at the characterization of DataTreasury as a company that merely exploits dubious patents.

“It is true that the company now is just a holding company for the patents with only a few employees. At one time it had more than 100 — before the banks stole his patented technology, he said.

“‘I didn’t invent the scanner; I didn’t invent networking, or computers or software,” he said. “But I am an expert at systems integration, and I created this complete end-to-end solution” for digital check processing.'”

More than three dozen banks and financial institutions have settled with or signed license agreements with DataTreasury to use its inventions, including Bank of NY Mellon, Bank One, Citibank, Diebold, First Data, JP Morgan Chase, Mellon Bank, Merrill Lynch, NCR and PNC Financial Services.

Read more on Newsmax.com: Schumer Sides With Banks Against Patent Holder.

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What is Schumer thinking? The courts via Bilski have already spoken on business method patents. Besides, financial institutions and their local Senator should be careful what they wish for.

The House of Representatives should not permit valid, licensed and reexamined patents to be held to a separate, higher standard so that a select group of infringers can avoid paying licensing fees. If it does, expect fewer investors to risk their capital on innovative businesses and new technologies.

Illustration source: bastiatinstitute.org

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House Republicans Reach Accord on Bill

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A note from Hal Wegner via the Internet Patent News Service:

“A tentative deal has apparently been reached amongst House Republican leadership factions on the America Invents Act that makes it “likely” that it will start to be considered in the House floor this Wednesday:

Thus, the House GOP leadership has announced a schedule for next week which includes the following: ‘On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business… and likely begin consideration of H.R. 2021 1249 – America Invents Act.'”

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The Great Patent Debate Will Kick-Off Day Two of World IP Business Congress in San Francisco

Do Patents Help or Hurt Innovation?

Skepticism about the patent system is growing even as more businesses and people benefit from IP rights.

Recent passage of the biggest overall of U.S. patents since the 1950s does not seem to have meant much, and cries of “too much” patenting are still being heard. A recent story in  The Economist (“The spluttering invention machine”) underscores the issue.

 Are patents net positive for innovation and commerce, or are they merely a drain on them that fills the pockets of special interests? Why do many IP-rich companies want to see weaker not stronger patents?

Is the playing field for patents leveler today or does it still favor some holders over others?

“The Great Patent Debate” taking place at the Intellectual Property Business Congress at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel on June 21 will attempt to find out.

Participating in what is expected to be a heated discussion:  Michael Meurer, author of Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk, a controversial book which details a complex system run wild; Peter Menell, co-founder and director of The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, and a leading authority on patent law and practice who opposes the Property Rights Movement; and Mark Blaxill and Ralph Eckardt, authors of The Invisible Edge, proponents of patent strategy for businesses and investors.

Blaxill and Eckardt are Managing Partners of 3LP Advisors, which advises Tessera (NASDAQ: TRSA), among the growing number of patent holders who actively monetize their R&D through patent licensing and litigation.

Moderating the debate will be your humble IP Insider, Bruce Berman.

States the IPBC program: “Some see [the patent system] as a crucial facilitator of innovation that underpins business success. Others are not so sure and regard it as an expensive hindrance to innovative companies.”

• Head-to-head debate

• Key assets or an expensive waste of time?

• Encouraging innovation or a brake on it taking place?

• Tweaking the system or fundamental reform

I hope some of you can make the IPBC in SF.  Held previously in Munich, Chicago and Amsterdam, and hosted by UK-based IAM, the IP Business Congress is the most auspicious gathering for patent strategy and monetitzation.

This year’s Bay-area inspired presentations, discussions and networking are sure to entertain as well as enlighten.


Illustration source: IPBC


Former Chief Judge Takes off Robes and Gloves

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

14 Articles on Patent Reform

Medical Pub Provides New Insight

The summer 2010 issue of  Medical Innovation & Business examines the economic impact of patent reform. It’s well worth taking a look at, free, online.

The special issue of MI&B was brought to our attention by patent attorney Brenda Pomerance. She found particularly compelling the data in the article,  Patent Reforms Must Focus on the U.S. Patent Office, by Ron D. Katznelson, who discusses practices at the USPTO that have given rise to “significant dysfunction” in its examination operations.

In view of the statistics brilliantly presented in the Katznelson paper,” states Pomerance, “it looks like the water in the pot began boiling around 2007, and the frog in the pot is now being cooked alive.

“Congress should relax the constraints causing the boiling so that patents can more effectively attract investment in innovation.”

Other articles in the special issue cover the economic impact of patent reform and alternatives to it. It would be good to hear if IP Insider readers found them useful or just more of the same.

Illustration: MI&B cover

Patent Reform in the Senate

Bill Language “Little Improved”

Patent reform is back in the news and those who are watching developments say there have been few. The bill now before the U.S. Senate is still riddled with problems and, if passed, they say will weaken capital investment, innovation and U.S. competiveness.

Former Apple, National Semi and Medtronic chief IP counsel, and former USPTO examiner, Irv Rappaport weighs in on the latest developments.  

Dear Colleagues, 

Patent Reform for the Gang of 15 (and the rest of America’s companies be damned) has reared its ugly head again yesterday, March 4, 2010.  It is more important than ever that you let your Congressman and Senators know your views on this “Patent Deform” legislation as I like to refer to it.

Attached [below linked] are several items discussing the “improved” language being worked in the Senate. Below also is a highlighted summary of the major “improvements,” as they are being called.  As you can see, not much has changed other than some minor wording.  None of this deals with the problem that if passed, the USPTO will bury patents because they will be more overwhelmed with work than ever with the post-grant opposition proceedings. The ever-present apportionment of damages favorite issue of the patent infringement community persists.

Best regards,

Irv
Irving S. Rappaport, Esq., CLP

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