Blog Posts

FTC and DOJ Looking at Trolls under Antitrust Authority

A Sunday article in the Wall Street Journal reports the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are devoting “huge energy, particularly at a senior level” to assess the impact of non-practicing entities (a/k/a patent assertion entities, or PAEs) on competition in high-tech markets.  The agencies also intend to host informal hearings on…

Patent Progress at Patent Prom

Today is the Santa Clara Law High Tech Law Institute  “Solutions to the Software Patent Problem” Conference.  (#HTLI is actually trending on Twitter!)  Josh has been live-tweeting it on @PatentProgress, and Dan on @DisCo_Project.  A great Who’s-Who of patent law and policy is in attendance—it’s even been nicknamed #patentprom—and while the goal of coming up…

Patent Troll Business Models

How Non-Practicing Entities are Adapting The idea of a patent assertion entity (PAE) (or non-practicing entity, patent troll) has become fairly well-known.  These firms adopt a business model of monetizing patents rather than practicing the technology covered by the patents; acquiring patents that enable them to target entire industries; and driving up the costs for…

Why an Antitrust Lawyer Cares About Patent Reform

Since the advent of antitrust enforcement in the United States through the Sherman Act in 1890, antitrust law and patent law have endured an uneasy relationship.  Initial cases treated patents as superior to competition.  Patentees once were “the owner of a monopoly recognized by the Constitution and by the statutes of Congress.”  Gradually throughout the years…

The Continued Challenge Posed by Abstract Patents

What is the state of the patent system?  In 2009, scholars framed the question as whether it was failing.  In 2011, the question was whether it was in crisis.  Now, Wired Magazine’s “Patent Fix” series sees experts debating whether it is entirely broken.  Judging by titles alone, we’re losing ground.  The mounting tide of patent research provides more empirical…

Progress in a Time of War

It may be thermonuclear war, but at least it’s out in the open. We have Steve Jobs to thank, not only for his brilliant contributions to technology, but for launching Apple’s thermonuclear war against Android.   Already raging in ten countries around the world, this war has made a public spectacle of the subjectivity, uncertainties, and…