It’s Spring, so the thoughts of the lobbyists representing high-tech heavy weights turn to crippling the U.S. patent system.  Competing bills are already pending in Congress.  Why do the giant high-tech companies do it? The sound-bite reason given is to stop the depredations of patent ‘trolls;’ that is, entities that own patents but that do not produce the patented product themselves, which includes universities, private laboratories, research and development shops, and individual inventors working in their basements.  Gene Quinn who blogs as IP Watchdog provided an explanation in 2013, which is still valid today – he explains that the full-court-press lobbying and PR effort by the giants is to protect the status quo; that is, to keep the giants giant, and to to prevent the smaller, lighter, nimbler startups with better technology from competing.

David Kapos, past Commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and former chief patent counsel at IBM, recently delivered a speech offering an excellent summary and explanation of the issues surrounding patent reform and the patent system generally.   If you would like to learn more about these issues, read the speech.  The bottom line? Wholesale changes are not needed.

— Robert Yarbrough, Esq.