David Kline & Bernard J. Cassidy

Recent Articles by Are Software Patents Stifling Innovation?

Are Software Patents Stifling Innovation?

What if (Almost) Everything You Thought You Knew About America’s “Broken” Patent System Was Wrong? What follows is the fourth and final installment in the “Myths of the Patent Wars” series. The necessary legislative effort to curb bad actors in the patent industry has been “hijacked” by a small handful of very powerful global technology companies intent on forcing broader…

The ITC and Excessive Patent Damages Myths

Professor Paul Janicke of the University of Houston Law School conducted a study of all damage verdicts in patent infringement cases between 2005 and 2007. He found no pattern of “runaway jury awards.” In fact, many of the biggest damage awards of that time, including the $1.5 billion award Lucent won from Microsoft, were set aside or greatly reduced by the judges. Even Apple’s $1 billion 2012 patent verdict against Samsung was recently slashed 43 percent. Why, then, are claims of a “broken” patent system rife with “excessive damage” awards so widely believed?

Are Non-Practicing Entities The Problem?

Patent licensing, in fact, was the principal means by which new inventions were commercialized during the decades before in-house corporate R&D departments emerged in the early 20th century. Publications such as Scientific American were founded expressly to facilitate the trade in patents, and it regularly featured descriptions of new and interesting patents, which commercial enterprises then licensed or purchased to use in their product development efforts. American Bell Telephone’s new product pipeline, for example, operated like most others at the time. According to its 1894 annual report, the company’s R&D department licensed 73 patents from outside inventors, while developing only 12 from its own employees.

Myths of the Patent Wars: An “Explosion Of Patent Litigation” Greater Than Any in History?

These deceptive claims are meant to justify and buttress a legislative agenda aimed at immunizing this small coterie of technology giants from the costs of their patent infringing behavior… The estimated 124-plus smartphone patent suits filed between 2009-2012 are less than one-quarter the number of patent suits filed during the first “Telephone Wars” of Alexander Graham Bell’s time. Back then, the American Bell Telephone Company and its successor, AT&T, litigated an astonishing 587 patent cases alone. Even more surprising, given the common belief in a patent litigation “explosion” today, patent and legal records from the golden age of the U.S. Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century show that the patent litigation rate at that time — defined as the number of patent suits filed in a decade divided by the number of patents issued in that decade — reached 3.6 percent.