While much of the recent antitrust scrutiny of Big Tech companies has focused on their abuse of market dominant positions in areas of pricing, search, advertising and publishing, there is another important area where these companies have been abusing their positions to squash competition: patents.
A special meeting with White House IP counsel Colleen Chien and patent holding companies was held this week to discuss an initiative to make prior art holdings more accessible for officials at the Patent and Trademark Office. This would reduce the number of patents granted, which would therefore improve overall patent quality and limit potential for abusive litigation.
Innovators are finally speaking up and joining forces in the fight against patent reform. This week, over 2000 independent inventors signed a letter to Congress expressing their deep concern over the proposed legislation.
Despite good intentions, current legislation still contains provisions that are deeply troubling to many stakeholders. Universities, engineers, small businesses, manufacturers, venture capitalists, and inventors have read between the lines:
Patent reform has the potential to weaken the United States Patent System. Weakening our patent integrity would have a direct effect on independent inventors, small entities, employment rates and the U.S. economy, not to mention our global influence.
Watch this video of Dr. Greg Raleigh, Founder & CEO of ItsOn, talk about the U.S. Patent System and how patents incentivize incredible risk for innovators across the country.
Attempts to stop frivolous Patent Assertion Entities, pose big risks to the economic engine surrounding invention and innovation. Dean Kamen, one of America’s great inventors says, “if the U.S. government doesn't increase incentives to invent, the country will lose its edge.”
This week we have 2 articles from CFO and Inc. highlighting both sides of patent reform and giving a more neutral overview of the controversy surrounding this issue.
In the first article from CFO, the issue of small companies being forced to pay licensing fees to patent trolls in order to avoid conflict with their investors is touched upon. It also questions whether or not patent reform will help or harm inventors and small businesses.
Throughout 2013, various legislative proposals have again been introduced that would dramatically change patent litigation in the courts. Innovation is a core pillar of our economy, and it’s important that the public and senators themselves hear from many sources, including universities and innovative small businesses.