Nav

IV Insights Blog

Posts from the Policy and Advocacy category

Latest Patent Study Misses the Point

The latest study purporting to shine a light on patents and the invention economy is a survey conducted by UC Berkeley’s Robin Feldman and Stanford’s Mark Lemley. We’ve been pointing out for years that sound data supporting the need for further changes to patent enforceability is lacking, so we were curious to see what these two academics might say about patent licensing and its relationship to innovation.

Latest Patent Study Misses the Point

In their new study, professors Feldman and Lemley raise a very interesting question -- whether society benefits by providing exclusive rights to an inventor when, in many circumstances, a second inventor would likely have come up with the same invention independently.

While this is an interesting thought experiment worthy of serious academic debate, in the United States our patent system is constitutionally charged with “securing for limited times to…inventors the exclusive right to their…discoveries.” Put another way, our patent system has been designed to reward inventors by granting them the exclusive rights to their inventions. 

Read the full story »

IV in the Community: January

New year, new opportunities to tell our unique story. Over the next few months, Intellectual Ventures employees from across the company will be out in the community talking about everything from what the West can learn from Asia’s innovation boom to the longer-term consequences of Ebola.  

IV in the Community: January

Philip Eckhoff, principal investigator of the Institute for Disease Modeling at IV, will be participating in a panel discussion on January 22 hosted by the World Affairs Council in Seattle entitled “Ebola in 2015 – and beyond.” Specifically, Philip plans to address the outlook for the virus in 2015 as well as longer-term consequences that could further endanger public health, education, and economic development in West Africa.

Read the full story »

A Renewed Focus on Patent Quality

With the 114th Congress starting in January, patent “reformers” have stepped up their cries for legislation aimed at altering the enforceability of U.S. patents. Hearing those cries, lawmakers are again debating ways to reduce patent litigation by tinkering with the management U.S. judges exercise over the patent cases pending in their courtrooms. While the effort on Capitol Hill proposes to reduce patent disputes by making changes to the tail end of the system, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has taken a different tack. 

A Renewed Focus on Patent Quality

Through the Thomas Alva Edison Visiting Scholars program, the Patent Office is studying how to reduce litigation by improving the way patents are written and how they are granted. At an event earlier this week, three visiting scholars outlined their research efforts including a study designed to bring more clarity to patent boundaries and research examining how to use high-powered data analysis to uncover prior art. 

Read the full story »

Turns Out $29B Isn’t the Point At All

Last year, we asked if “$29B was the point?” Based on the popular findings from James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer’s “The Direct Costs from NPE Disputes” study in 2012, the pair have recently reversed course on their definitions of NPEs — so much so that the editor in chief of Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, Joff Wild, asks whether their argument on the “costs '[patent] trolls' impose on businesses, the taxes they levy on innovation, and the subsequent harm they do to the U.S. economy generally is now rendered completely meaningless.” 

Turns Out $29B Isn’t the Point At All

Despite the fact the term “patent troll” has become a rallying cry in the patent reform debate and a very convenient pejorative in patent infringement disputes these days, we’ve long since argued the term has been stretched to the point where it has almost no meaning at all. Looks like the professors might agree with us on that after all.

Read the full story »

IV in the Community: September

From Tokyo to Seattle to Vancouver, members of IV’s team will be traveling around the world this month to provide their thoughts on everything from localized IP management to patent policy and politics.

IV in the Community: September

Masanobu Katoh, executive director and country head of IV’s Invention Development Fund (IDF) will be speaking on September 4 at the IP Business Congress Japan in Tokyo. This year, the core themes of the event include IP value creation and strategic corporate IP management in a Japanese context.

Read the full story »

IV’s Founders and President Applaud TROL Act on Frivolous Demand Letters

In a letter this week to lawmakers in Congress, the founders of Intellectual Ventures strongly endorsed legislation that would penalize those who threaten law-abiding businesses with frivolous and often fraudulent “demand letters” that allege patent infringement.

IV’s Founders and President Applaud TROL Act on Frivolous Demand Letters

“Specious demand letters targeting America’s small businesses are not a naturally occurring feature of a well-functioning marketplace for invention,” wrote IV’s founders and president in support of the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act, a bill authored by Rep. Lee Terry, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

Read the full story »

Everything Ventured, Everything Gained

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 reached the moon. 45 years ago, man took his first steps there. Today we’re reminded of how fast technology can develop in the right environment and the distance that invention can take us when inventors, investors, big and small companies, governments, universities and communities work together.

Edward Jung, IV founder and CTO, calls the Apollo program a historical example of the impact of collaborative invention:

 “The Apollo space program created a $25 billion (more than $150B in today’s dollars!) innovation economy and put a man on the moon in less than a decade — thanks to the cooperation of government and industry, the individual and the team.”

To give this accomplishment more context, travel back with us seven years before 1969 to 1962, when President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at Rice University in Houston, TX.

Read the full story »

Patently False

We’ve often wondered: If “patent trolls” and the “explosion” of lawsuits are strangling innovation as some critics claim, then why are the most blazingly innovative industries also the ones with the most new patents and lawsuits?

Patently False

Take smartphones for example, one the most patent-intensive industries. There have been epic patent battles in court.

Yet the pace of smartphone innovation has been off the charts, while prices for consumers have fallen dramatically. Twenty years ago, few people had cellphones and those who did paid $1,000 for a basic model. Today, you can buy a smartphone for less than $100.

This evidence always strikes us as a clear and common-sense rebuttal to what the anti-patent crowd is saying. And now there’s rigorous new research that confirms what we’ve always believed to be true.

Read the full story »

Patent Reform That Makes Sense, Part II

In my previous post, I described a constructive proposal in Congress to attack the mass-mailings of “demand letters,” but patent reform isn’t just happening in the halls of Congress. The court system is pushing through another series of reforms that will make it harder and riskier for so-called “trolls” to file frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits.

Patent Reform That Makes Sense, Part II

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court handed down two decisions that create more clarity about patent validity and will make it easier for companies to defend themselves against charges of infringement. Indeed, The New York Times praised the decisions in an editorial. In one case, Nautilus Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, the high court made it easier for a defendant to show that a patent is invalid because of its “indefiniteness” – meaning that the patent is too vague to explain the scope of the invention. It’s an important issue, because critics have charged that many patent claims are vague and overly broad. Until now, courts have held that a patent flunks the “indefiniteness” test only if the scope of the claim is “insolubly ambiguous.” The high court said that bar was too high, and set a new standard based on failing to provide “reasonable certainty” to those who are skilled in the art. 

Read the full story »

Patent Reforms That Make Sense, Part I

At Intellectual Ventures, we have always believed that the key to stopping abusive patent lawsuits is to focus on specific bad behavior. The “patent troll” problem isn’t that companies own patents and enforce them to prevent theft of their intellectual property.  

Patent Reforms That Make Sense, Part I

The problem is that some companies game the legal system by making specious claims of patent infringement or send out thousands of “demand letters” to small businesses and end users who simply purchased a product (maybe a scanner, or a WiFi router) and used it for its intended purpose.

The good news is that targeted and thoughtful reform is still alive, both in Congress and in the courts.  

Like many other groups, including major research universities, independent inventors and venture capitalists, we were troubled that a compromise “patent reform” bill under consideration in the Senate was too broad and would have hurt inventors of all types. The House passed an omnibus reform bill last year that was, in some ways, even more troubling. After six months of effort that failed to achieve broad agreement on compromise language, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy put Senate patent reform measures on hold at the end of May.

Read the full story »

Categories

Archives

Twitter Follow us on Twiter!

IV spinout @KymetaCorp provides satellite connectivity to offshore wind farms, giving crews valuable performance an… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Oct 15

End your week on a positive note by reading about these negative-emission technologies: ow.ly/SY4630m9bvd

Oct 14

Cognitive decline can be challenging to detect and diagnose, so researchers have developed an AI algorithm that cou… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Oct 13