Saturday, May 14, 2016

A World Without Patents; Forbes, 5/12/16

David Pridham, Forbes; A World Without Patents:
"On the surface, Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee is about whether the Patent Office (PTO) can use a different standard in hearing challenges to a patent’s validity after it’s been granted than the standard used by the federal courts. It’s also about whether the taking of a legal property right (a patent) ought to happen via an administrative hearing, without judicial review.
During oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts seemed shocked by the PTO’s system for challenging patents, known as Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs), calling it a “bizarre way … to decide a legal question” and a “very extraordinary animal in legal culture to have two different proceedings addressing the same question that lead to different results.” He was referring to the fact that a patent upheld as valid and infringed by the federal courts can then be taken by the infringing defendant to the PTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and declared invalid!...
Even if you stipulate that there are bad patents that shouldn’t have been issued, is it really believable that 90% of all patents granted are invalid — despite being issued only after careful review by PTO examiners in a process that takes over two years and results in the rejection of half of all patent applications?
If we really believe that 90% of Patent Office output is garbage, then we should just shut the agency down and save everyone all the trouble.
There would be consequences, of course. Without patents and the competitive protections they afford, individuals and companies will not invest the money it takes to develop new cures for disease or create new technological wonders. That’s because they know others will simply copy their inventions with impunity and then sell them at a much lower cost, since it didn’t cost them a dime to develop these in the first place. This is a terrific way to drive the innovators out of any industry."

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