A relatively simple way to boost the economy and make America even greater is to fix a patent system gone awry. In recent years, major changes to intellectual property policy by Congress, the courts and the executive branch have thrown the system out of whack, deterring inventors from the kind of innovation that creates jobs and growth.
Every patent holder is proud of their patent. As they should be. Obtaining a patent is expensive, time-consuming, and there is an adversarial process with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that you must overcome to establish that your invention is valid. But the business of patents has changed. It used to be a system that rewarded an inventor for a genuine innovation, one that the patent clearly described, and entitled that inventor to prevent anyone else from making that invention.
Representing an updated and expanded version of Senator Coons’ STRONG Patents Act of 2015, the STRONGER Patents Act takes critical steps to improve the patent system. It treats patents like any other property, permitting injunctions to protect patent owners against infringement during and after court cases. It ensures fairness in Patent Office administrative proceedings, limiting repetitive and harassing challenges against inventors.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is introducing legislation aimed at making it easier and cheaper for patent holders to enforce their patents. The bill is based on legislation Coons introduced last year, which aimed at making patent proceedings "more fair and efficient," according to a statement from his office.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether a federal administrative process frequently used by technology companies to ward off patent infringement lawsuits violates the constitutional rights of patent owners.
U.S. Patent Office Director Michelle Lee resigned on Tuesday, a White House official confirmed. Lee stepping down concludes a long saga of ambiguity over the leadership of the Patent and Trademark Office.
In the last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two important rulings limiting patent rights. The decisions, which were both unanimous, significantly scaled back the ability of patent holders to slow innovation by competitors, tipping scales that many legal scholars believe have become badly imbalanced.
One of the primary justifications we hear for why patents are social goods is that they encourage innovation. Specifically, the argument goes, patents incentivize companies and individuals to invest in costly research and development that they would not otherwise invest in because they know they will be able to later charge supracompetitive prices and recoup the costs of that development.
“Innovation and creative endeavors are indispensable elements that drive economic growth and sustain the competitive edge of the U.S. economy.” Thus reads the start of the executive summary for the 2016 update to the Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy...