Posts Tagged: "innovation"

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.

How Patented Innovation Creates Jobs and Economic Growth

While New Mexico is not the only institution fostering growth, they do on average participate in the start up of 5 to 8 new companies a year. Kuutilla said that STC.UNM has participated in licensing technology to start-up companies that have created multiple hundreds of jobs at an average annual salary of $80,000 per job, which is $30,000 higher than the average private sector salary in the United States. There is no doubt that jobs in the innovation economy are high paying and exactly the type of jobs we need to be fostering.

Building on Rhetoric: Time to Inspire Youth in Math & Science

At one point during his remarks last night President Obama said: “Nobody rushes on the field and dumps Gatorade on them (laughter) when you win a science award. Maybe they should!” Indeed we should celebrate science and math victories every much, if not more, than we celebrate sports victories, but that is not our culture unfortunately. We need to change our culture to raise the profile of those who are succeeding on every level in the scientific fields. President Obama can play a major role in bringing about that change, and his raising the profile of those who are science fair winners is certainly encouraging.

FTC and DOJ Issue Revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice on Friday, August 19, 2010, issued revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines that outline how the federal antitrust agencies evaluate the likely competitive impact of mergers and whether those mergers comply with U.S. antitrust law. These changes to the Guidelines mark the first major revision of the merger guidelines in 18 years, and is…

The Role for Open Source in Paradigm Shifting Innovation

There is an important role that open source could play moving forward, and that role is to set the foundation of innovation and technology, which is no small task in terms of importance and seems to perfectly fit with open sources strengths. But too many open source regimes are like the Borg of Star Trek fame, or a little like the Mafia. Once you are a member you simply cannot get out. With too many open source regimes once you join and take then anything that you produce must be free to be taken by other members of the consortium. It really is akin to a patent deal with the devil, and ignores human tendencies. Ingrained in almost everyone is a feeling they should be able to profit from their own work, and most would feel injured if they worked and others were allowed to take without some kind of in kind return.

Wall Street Journal Profiles Medical Marijuana, but not Important USPTO Issues

Earlier today the Wall Street Journal gave front page space to a story relating to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Widely regarded as one of the “papers of record” in the United States, one might expect that the Wall Street Journal had brought its considerable clout to an important issue plaguing our time, such as an horribly under funded Patent Office that is holding innovation hostage, costing America perhaps millions of jobs. NO! Don’t get me wrong, every tabloid should have front page news story about pot, medical marijuana and have an image of a VW bus over the tag “the Canny Bus,” as the Journal did earlier today. Call me crazy, but I expected more from the Wall Street Journal.

Why Open Source Stalls Innovation and Patents Advance It

I have wondered out loud why we don’t have more of a bounce coming off this Great Recession. Certainly the historical dysfunctionality of the Patent Office prior to Director Kappos has something to do with that. It seems to me that open source has also lead many otherwise capable individuals to turn away from innovating. They are not looking for paradigm shifting open spaces and instead toward copying, or simply being blissfully ignorant about whether they are advancing or simply reinventing what others have already invented. The march forward has ceased in part due to the Patent Office backlog and due to an infatuation with open source and reinventing the wheel.