Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship

Now in its third iteration, CPIP’s Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship is a year-long non-resident fellowship program that brings together a group of scholars who will develop research papers on patent law and policy. The Edison Fellowship is one of the centerpieces of CPIP’s mission to promote a better academic discussion about intellectual property rights with substantial scholarship produced from rigorous research that examines the moral and economic value of patented innovation.

The Edison Fellowship consists of a series of invitation-only conferences over the course of a year in which Edison Fellows study and discuss a structured curriculum, engage in roundtable discussions with expert senior scholars and industry representatives, and share and collaborate on both their research and early drafts. The Fellowship culminates in the production of substantial academic research papers that are published in law journals or other peer-reviewed academic journals.


Spotlight on Scholarship

    Deepak Hegde, et al., The Bright Side of Patents (USPTO Econ. Working Paper No. 2015-5, Jan. 2016)

    CPIP Edison Fellow Deepak Hegde and his co-authors demonstrate–for the first time with causal evidence–how “patent approvals help startups create jobs, grow their sales, innovate, and eventually succeed.” This groundbreaking study was made possible by the authors’ unprecedented access to the USPTO’s internal databases. The authors find that startups that have their first patent applications approved are significantly more likely to succeed. Furthermore, they find that delays in the approval process negatively affect startups’ chances of success.

    Christopher Beauchamp, The First Patent Litigation Explosion, 125 Yale L.J. 848 (2016)

    CPIP Edison Fellow Chris Beauchamp takes on the myth that there is an unprecedented explosion of patent litigation today: “The twenty-first century ‘patent litigation explosion’ is not unprecedented. In fact, the nineteenth century saw an even bigger surge of patent cases. During that era, the most prolific patent enforcers brought hundreds or even thousands of suits, dwarfing the efforts of today’s leading ‘trolls.’ In 1850, New York City and Philadelphia alone had ten times more patent litigation, per U.S. patent in force, than the entire United States in 2013.”

    Ryan T. Holte, Trolls or Great Inventors: Case Studies of Patent Assertion Entities , 59 St. Louis U. L.J. 1 (2014)

    One of the more contentious topics in the current patent policy debate concerns the alleged harms caused by patent owners who seek to license their patented innovation, often referred to by the pejorative epithet “patent troll.” The discussions to date have been predominantly theoretical, lacking in sound empirical data regarding the inventors themselves. In this paper, CPIP Edison Fellow Ryan Holte takes a detailed dive into two instructive case studies. By exploring the stories behind these inventors and their patented technologies, Professor Holte adds much-needed context to the ongoing policy debates and shows that the “patent troll” moniker disparages honest innovators.


2016-2017 Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship

    Final Meeting
    January 26-27, 2017
    Austin, Texas

    On January 26-27, 2017, CPIP will host the last meeting of the 2016-2017 Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship. The Edison Fellows will present final drafts of their research papers and receive valuable feedback from Senior Commentators and other Fellows.

    Third Meeting
    September 15-16, 2016
    George Mason University School of Law
    Arlington, Virginia

    On September 15-16, 2016, CPIP will host the third meeting of the 2016-2017 Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship at Mason Law in Arlington, Virginia. The meeting will be a works-in-progress workshop, where the Edison Fellows present rough drafts of their papers and receive valuable feedback from Senior Commentators and other Fellows.

    Second Meeting
    April 21-22, 2016
    Orlando, Florida

    On April 21-22, 2016, CPIP hosted the second meeting of the 2016-2017 Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship in Orlando, Florida. At the meeting, the Edison Fellows presented their research proposals and received valuable feedback from Senior Commentators and other Fellows.

    First Meeting
    March 3-5, 2016
    San Diego, California

    On March 3-5, 2016, CPIP hosted the first meeting of the 2016-2017 Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship in San Diego, California. The meeting, which focused on research methodologies and developing research ideas, featured several days of academic roundtable discussions, as well as presentations by inventors and other representatives from the innovation industries. We are thrilled to begin the third year of our Edison Fellowship!


Past Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowships

Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property