From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

December 2021
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Patenting Trends. Proposals to limit NPEs
Filed under: Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:57 pm

Science, technology and engineering are many times concerned
about holding patent protection, infringing on someone else’s
patent claims or having a competitor infringe on their existing

Patent trolls, where NPE non-productive entities hold rights to
patents and litigate against firms when they believe patent claims
have been infringed, provides a challenge to harm US manufacturers
and technological progress.

Ashby Jones summarized recent proposals to roll out executive orders
and seek legislation in June 5 WSJ (subscription required to view).
Two items of note in the article: 
1- there is a 6-fold increase in “troll suits” from ‘06 to ‘12
2- legislative action, which is believed quite important, could have
  unintended consequences for universities and research institutes who
  have troll-like characteristics in that they license patents, rather
  than bring products to market using patents.

University and tech transfer offices of institutes need to pay close
attention where this goes.

5 Responses to “Patenting Trends. Proposals to limit NPEs”

  1. site admin Says:

    Source: Ashby Jones, WSJ June 5, 2013, p. B8 “Tech Firms Back Obama Patent Move”
  2. site admin Says:
  3. site admin Says:
  4. site admin Says:

    Learned something about good lawyering in the comment
    to letters to the editor.
    1. The article on patent trends commented on the Supreme
    Court rejecting a patent claim for a gene test, rather than trolls. 
    2. The trolls argument goes to an “attention switch” which
    the author and some commentators want to raise attention
    to and perhaps influence opinion.
    3. There is a significant legal shift of philosophy in the
    Supreme Court
    from “bright line tests” to “balancing tests”
    since hard and fast rules can be overly simplistic for
    complicated situations.
  5. site admin Says:

    Letter to editor WSJ on topic:

    A patent is a bargain between an inventor and the state,
    whereby the state induces the inventor to disclose the
    invention in exchange for a limited monopoly.

    Practice of the invention isn’t a part of the bargain—it
    is the disclosure of the invention that is rewarded with
    a patent grant. This central point got lost in the debate.

    Today, small inventors are branded as nonpracticing
    entities (NPEs) or worse, patent trolls. Following this
    logic, should we require that composers sing their own
    songs or architects build houses they design?

    If Mr. Schumer and President Obama, who supports
    Mr. Schumer’s bill, want to improve the quality of
    patents, they should provide for full funding of the
    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. They should stop
    withholding revenues that the PTO collected from
    inventors for patent application and maintenance fees,
    effectively imposing a tax on innovation. The PTO could
    then hire more examiners and allow them to spend more
    time examining patent applications. There is a novel idea.
    Alexander Poltorak Founder and Chairman American Innovators for Patent Reform

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