Monday, August 19, 2013

Professor Richard Epstein's Trolling for "Patent Trolls"

NYU Law School Professor Richard Epstein's article Trolling for "Patent Trolls" is a refreshing contrast to the recycled articles attacking patent assertion entities (PAEs).

The White House Task Force report (see post on White House plan) claims the patent system is seriously flawed and in need of prompt corrective action, but the article notes the report has quite the shaky foundation: (1) claiming only those practicing an invention can license or enforce patent rights; (2) relying on Bessen, Ford and Meurer's incomplete economic study; (3) assuming litigation abuse is a one-way street; (4) failing to recognize inventors opposed the America Invents Act that was so strongly supported by large corporations; and (5) assuming the high cost of patent litigation should not be addressed by changes to civil procedure (e.g., limiting discovery) affecting both parties.

Professor Epstein concludes the "President should back off his one-sided critique and work to create a more balanced and nuanced reform agenda of the patent system." Sage advice, but I am not sure the President and Congress are listening as it is time to do something (almost anything) to "kill the patent troll beast."

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