The History of Patent Licensing and Secondary Markets in Patents: An Antidote to False Rhetoric

The patent licensing business model is a flashpoint of controversy in the patent policy debates. Individuals and firms that specialize in licensing patented innovation – and companies that purchase patents in order to license them – have come under attack by the President, members of Congress, companies, lobbying groups, and others. On December 6, 2013, … Continue reading “The History of Patent Licensing and Secondary Markets in Patents: An Antidote to False Rhetoric”

The Nadir of “Patent Troll” Rhetoric

The venerable high-tech company IBM is no more a “patent troll” than any other legitimate company that engages in patent licensing. Yet, according to the very arguments of those who are using this ill-defined and misleading term, the shoe fits. The case in point is the recent demand letter IBM sent to Twitter, asserting violation of … Continue reading “The Nadir of “Patent Troll” Rhetoric”

GAO Report Confirms No “Patent Troll” Litigation Problem

As we previously reported, there are serious concerns with the studies asserting that a “patent litigation explosion” has been caused by patent licensing companies (so-called non-practicing entities (“NPEs”) or “patent trolls”). These seemingly alarming studies (see here and here) have drawn scholarly criticism for their use of proprietary, secret data collected from companies like RPX … Continue reading “GAO Report Confirms No “Patent Troll” Litigation Problem”

A Brief History of Software Patents (and Why They’re Valid)

Today, there is significant public debate over patents on the digital processes and machines that comprise computer software programs. These are often referred to as “software patents,” but this is an odd moniker. Aside from the similarly mislabeled debate over “DNA patents,” nowhere else in the patent system do we refer to patents on machines … Continue reading “A Brief History of Software Patents (and Why They’re Valid)”