Posts Tagged: "innovation"

Patent Verdicts We Planned For

News analysis and op-ed pieces following the $1 billion jury decision in Apple v. Samsung have been filled with reactive statements critical of the US patent system. Apple’s enforcement of its patents may “literally choke innovation” cried one law professor. A critic of the decision said that cases like this will require competitors to innovators like Apple to be much more mindful of patents and to “try to avoid or secure rights to [patents]” before bringing a product to market. What the critics have not explained is how making it easier for a foreign company like Samsung to steal US-born innovation is in our long-term national interest.

Bob Stoll Part 2 – Innovation, Economy, Patent Examination

In part 1 of my interview with Stoll we discussed his adjusting to life in the private sector, the fact that he doesn’t enjoy the billable hour part of private practice (just like every other attorney I know) and we discussed politics a bit, as well as the U.S. economy and innovation policy. Part 2 of my interview, which appears below, picks up where we left off discussing Presidential politics and the buzz that engulfs D.C. every 4 years. We then move on to talk about how innovation drives the U.S. economy and I get his thoughts on why we haven’t seen a great new technology that has spawned an entirely new industry as we have coming out of so many recessions in the past. We then finish part 2 discussing changes to the patent examination process and how to streamline the examination process.

WIPO Announces 2012 Global Innovation Index

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in conjunction with INSEAD, released the 2012 Global Innovation Index (GII) on July 3, 2012. The GII model included study of 141 economies, which represent 94.9% of the world’s population and 99.4% of the world’s GDP (measured in US dollars). Once again, for the second year in a row, Switzerland, Sweden and Sinagpore top the list, which measures overall innovation performance. The report ranks countries on the basis of their innovation capabilities and results. The United States ranked 10th.

Patent Strategy: Laying the Foundation for Business Success

It is also critical for inventors and entrepreneurs to have a strategy to succeed, which seems simple enough, but is typically anything but simple for the creative types that are so good at inventing. The goal is not to create an invention that is cool, the goal is not to get a patent, the goal is almost universally to make money. The cool invention and patent are a means to the end, not the end in and of themselves. If you approach your patent activities appropriately you can lay the foundation of a business plan, at least insofar as the technology and technological advancement of your innovation is concerned. But like almost everything in life, there is a cost associated with succeeding. The cost is hard work to be sure, but there will also be significant financial requirements as well. While you may need to bootstrap your invention and business, as you move forward you will invariably need funding. From Angel investors to start, and maybe from Venture Capitalists eventually.

Setting the Record Straight on the Innovatio Patent Portfolio

Ray Niro responds — There is nothing disingenuous about the licensing and enforcement of the Innovatio IP patent portfolio. Nor is this effort about “forcing quick licensing agreements” on questionable patents. The earliest of the Innovatio patents resulted from the pioneering work of Ronald Mahany and Robert Meier of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the early 1990s. Mahany and Meier are widely considered to be the “Fathers of Radio Frequency Local Area Networking Technology” – commonly referred to as wireless local area networking (“WLAN”) or “Wi-Fi.”

Technology Solutions: In Support of a Clean Energy Economy

As global demand for energy continues to grow and the price of oil and gasoline continue to rise we must pursue solutions for cleaner, renewable energy. The technology that will ultimately support an alternative energy driven economy is not where we want it to be, if we do not aggressively pursue such technologies and build on early stage successes we will never get to the finish line. Complaining about the fact that the finish line is so far away and the technology incapable of providing a solution today is exceptionally myopic. Nothing worth doing is ever easy and without taking critical first steps the final celebratory steps are simply impossible to take.

The Problem with Patent Trolls

To me a patent troll is not just someone who has acquired a patent for purpose of licensing or bringing a lawsuit, but rather one who is engaging in some kind of unfair business practice. The telltale sign of a patent troll is one who is abusing the patent right in order to shake down a defendant for payment. This type of behavior is typically exhibited by non-practicing entities who are not innovators, but rather acquire patent rights. However, the act of bringing specious claims to provoke a settlement would, in my opinion, be just as bad if brought by an innovator.

Google Claims Patents Block Innovation

The mutually assured destruction approach to patenting can explain in part why large companies continue to patent at the rate they do, but the justification completely misses the point that these large tech giants were not always large. They were, at one time, rather small companies that pursued an aggressive agenda of innovation. A big part of that innovation strategy included obtaining protection for said innovation, largely in the form of acquiring patents. That undeniable truth makes it hard not to question whether the tech giants that lament the failings of the patent system and want to limit or abolish it are simply engaging in good old-fashioned protectionism.

Great Again: Revitalizing America’s Entrepreneurial Leadership

The magnitude of the problems facing our economy cannot be overstated. Neither can it be overstated that a coherent national innovation policy is the answer to what ails the U.S. economy. As Hank explains in the Introduction, “for the first time in our history, the connection between technological innovation and job creation has broken down. And for the first time also, the wealth created by innovation is going mostly just to a handful of founders and venture capitalists rather than to many thousands of employees, not to mention the community at large.” Through mismanagement and misapplication of tax, immigration and patent policies our leaders in Washington, D.C. have done us no favors. Speaking at the reception last night Nothhaft explained: “We live in the greatest country in the world and we seem bent on tying our arms behind our backs.” That has to change.

It’s More Important Than Ever To Use Protection

Indeed, more then 80 percent of most companies net value consists of intangible assets such as intellectual property. There is an increasing need to protect these assets in order to mitigate risk and avoid litigation. Even the most powerful companies in the world have a need for protection of their IP portfolios. In order to help defend themselves against patent litigation, Google put in a bid of $900 million for the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks which includes over 6,000 patents.

Non Sequitur: We Need to Go Back to the Clinton Tax Rates

For goodness sake, innovation is the key to a better economy, not raising taxes! Simply stated, taxing more at a time when individuals and businesses are doing less well is not the same as taxing more when individuals and businesses are doing better year after year. In one scenario the tide is rising and will remain high, although slightly less so with increased payments to the government. In the second scenario the tide is already lower and becomes even lower still with additional financial burdens owed to the government. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize there is a fundamental difference between taxing a rising economy and taxing a falling, stagnant or sluggish economy.

IP Exclusive: An Interview with Congressman Jason Chaffetz

Staffers worked with us to coordinate the interview with Congressman Chaffetz, which took place earlier today. I was told I would have 15 minutes with the Congressman, and graciously he allowed the interview to go a little long. We talked about the President’s States of the Union address, patent reform, the USPTO budget, innovation generally, manufacturing, job creation, China and more. I think many will find what Congressman Chaffetz has to say quite interesting and very encouraging. I myself found him to be well informed and refreshingly candid.

Winning the Future: How States Can Promote Innovation

One approach to promoting IP protection at the State/regional level would be for the State/incubators to create targeted “IP Protection Funds.” These Funds could be used to both educate the entrepreneurial community about IP protection and to finance protection for qualifying local startup companies. For example, the fund may directly pay IP legal fees, either as grants or convertible loans, on behalf of a startup, thereby ensuring that IP protection is an integral focus of the company. Administration of the Funds, along with company qualification, may be handled through the grass-roots incubator networks that are already actively counseling the startup community. Such a Fund may also serve to bridge the gap between the under-funded start-ups that desperately need IP protection (yet do not always value it), and the patent practitioner community that is sometimes reluctant to accept under-funded ventures as clients.

Just Common Sense: U.S. Supreme Court is Anti-Innovation

If you are anti-patent then you are anti-innovation because those who innovate are not the behemoths of industry, but rather start-up companies that absolutely require patents in order to attract funding, expand and create jobs. Thus, given the hostility toward patents it is entirely accurate to characterize the Roberts Court as anti-innovation. The Roberts Court increasingly puts hurdles in the way of high-tech job growth. You see, it is easy for anyone to characterize the Supreme Court as “pro-business” because selecting a victor in a “business case” almost necessarily means that a business has been victorious. But what business? One that is likely to innovate, expand, create jobs and form new industry? Or one that once innovated and expanded, but now finds themselves stagnant and laying off employees?

Obama Mentions Inventors and Patents in State of the Union

Earlier this evening President Barack Obama delivered the 2011 State of the Union Address to a live audience in the House Chambers at the Capitol. Not surprisingly, President Obama mentioned “innovation” repeatedly. The use of the “innovation” rhetoric is to be expected any more from our elected leaders, but it is typically little more than rhetoric. Perhaps that is how this speech will ultimately go down in history, but I must confess near complete shock that President Obama did utter the word “patent” during his speech this evening.