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02.10.13

Federal Reserve Economists Want to Abolish USPTO, Unrest Reaches Unprecedented Levels Due to Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Patents at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation, he said.”

IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz

Summary: Signs of massive backlash against the US patent system as patent trolls spread collective damage

TThe previous post spoke about the low standards of the USPTO. Something has got to change. Zach Carter has this amazing news, adding to Nobel celebrities (in economics [1, 2]) who slam the US patent system. He writes:

Patent Reform, System Should Be Abolished, Fed Economists Say

Two economists at the St. Louis Federal Reserve published a paper arguing to abolish the American patent system, saying there’s “no evidence” patents improve productivity and that they have a “negative” effect on “innovation.”

The research suggests that President Barack Obama’s 2011 patent reform legislation — one of only a handful of major bills to clear Congress with bipartisan support in recent years — was wrong-headed.

A popular political site berates the system for the trolls it harbours and money has just been granted for a law professor to study the subject. To quote: “Santa Clara Law’s Professor Colleen Chien has received a $35,000 research grant from the New America Foundation to expand her work relating to “Start-ups and Trolls”. This grant will fund an expanded survey to determine the impacts of Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) on the operations, growth, and innovation of startups. This version of the survey will also explore trends in patent purchasing, strategies for responding, and the market for “troll solution” providers.”

Watch what RIM has had to say on the subject after its very existence was compromised by trolls.

‘$30B’ spent on patent battles

Heins also spoke on Tuesday at Toronto’s Empire Club, making a point to discuss how legal battles over patents, especially in the United States, have been detrimental to the mobile technology industry.
“This past year, our sector spent almost $30 billion in courtrooms — particularly in U.S. courtrooms — defending cases against non-practicing entities — or ‘patent trolls’ — who produce nothing,” he said in prepared remarks.

“Patent trolls hold genuine innovators hostage and patents have become weapons in an international technology arms race. This is crazy. We have to shift our resources from litigation back to innovation, investment and job creation.”

BlackBerry holds over 3,400 U.S. patents, making it one of the top patent-holders in the country.

RIM is actually not a patent aggressor. It’s more like Google in this regard and in a later post we will show that Google now seeks to abolish software patents.

“IP is often compared to physical property rights but knowledge is fundamentally different.”

IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz

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