Tag Archive for innovation

The Law of the Patent Instrument

Patents are a useful tool in innovation policy—but they aren’t the only tool available.  If all you ever see are patents (and patent lawyers), your natural reaction is to use patents to solve policy problems.  It’s a normal human bias—the law of the instrument states that humans will reach for a familiar tool (i.e., patents)…

Global Innovation Index Highlights The Difference Between Patents And Innovation

The 2019 Global Innovation Index (GII) was recently released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  Conceived of as a broad measure of the innovative environment in various countries, the GII incorporates a wide variety of indicators in an attempt to measure innovation, ranging from scientific articles normalized by economic output, to the number of…

Not Invented By A Human—AI As An Inventor

Recently, a group of patent attorneys—along with the self-proclaimed “patent holder for all neural systems that contemplate, invent, and discover via such confabulations”—has filed a set of patent applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, European Patent Office, and the UK Intellectual Property Office.  But—reminiscent of the infamous “monkey selfie” copyright case, and unlike…

Delrahim Pulls DoJ Out Of FRAND-SEP Policy Guidance

In a speech today at the Berkeley Advanced Patent Law Institute, United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Makan Delrahim announced that the Department of Justice was withdrawing from its 2013 guidance on remedies for standard-essential patents subject to FRAND commitments. Stating that “[t]here is no special set of rules for exclusion when…

FTC Hearings #4: Patents, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

This post has been cross-posted to DisCo. Last week, the FTC held the fourth in its set of hearings focusing on “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.”  The first day focused on a review of the current landscape of intellectual property and competition.  The second day featured a variety of panels focusing on…

Founders On Patents: Jefferson On A Farm Patent

Last week, I covered a newly digitized letter from John Q. Adams, describing the concern the PTO’s first Commissioner had regarding whether the patents he was issuing were really valid and the harms that those invalid patents were causing. Along those lines, let’s see what another Founding Father—Thomas Jefferson—had to say about a patent on…

Cisco, Google, MIT, and USPTO Team Up To Create Prior Art Archive

One of the biggest problems in patent examination is actually finding prior art.  When it comes to patents and patent applications, that’s relatively easy—examiners have access to databases of all patents and applications, and they’re well-trained in searching those databases.  But when it comes to non-patent prior art—product manuals, journal articles, standards proposals, and other…

Yet More Evidence That NPEs Are Harmful To Innovation

Profs. Cohen, Gurun, and Kominers first published a paper collecting evidence of the impacts of NPEs on innovation in 2014.  Recently, they updated the paper, incorporating additional evidence and research from the past four years.  The key takeaways? “NPE litigation has a real negative impact on innovation at targeted firms: firms substantially reduce their innovative…

CCIA, ACT File Amicus Brief In FTC v. Qualcomm

Yesterday, CCIA and ACT filed an amicus brief in the FTC’s case against Qualcomm in the Northern District of California.  As explained in the brief, the FRAND obligation which patent owners voluntarily agree to when they participate in the development of a standard requires the owners of standard-essential patents to license their patents on “fair,…

USPTO Strategic Plan Focuses On Patent Owners, Ignores Public

Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) posted a draft of its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.  While many of the goals set out in the plan are important—for example, improving the ability of examiners to obtain the best prior art during examination and enhancing the information technology the USPTO makes available both internally and…