Thursday, May 21, 2015

A patent problem

Earlier this year, a group of 51 legal scholars and economists sent a letter to the US Congress urging it to take action on the increasing toll of frivolous patent lawsuits. Over the past five years, they said, researchers have published more than two dozen studies on the economic consequences of patent litigation. The view that has emerged is grim: the lawsuits are hindering research and development, and slowing the launch of firms.

Less than a month later, another 40 scholars rebuffed the claims, saying that the impact of the lawsuits has been exaggerated. Furthermore, they argued, patent litigation is on the wane, and legislation to rein it in could damage the US “engine of innovation” by weakening patent protections for inventors.

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