Patent Wars


I found the image below from Bloomberg Business Week, and here’s a link to the page. For my white paper I decided to write about patent reform. Last year, Obama signed into law the America Invents Act (click to watch a simple 2 minute video explaining the legislation).

Prior to this act, a huge barrier existed for entrepreneurs developing new products, since the patent process could take years and thousands of dollars, while a larger corporation could reinvent the idea in the mean time. A year later, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is implementing the legislation so that inventors and small businesses can bring their product to market much faster, and cheaper. Consequently, smaller businesses receive a boost which should lead to more jobs created.

On a larger scale, corporations have been suing back and forth, which has been dubbed “The Patent Wars.” Check out the photo below to see the vicious cycle of patent lawsuits. This is become a huge issue, since it certainly limits innovation, and forces companies to allocate capital towards lawsuits and patents, rather than research and design. With more competition comes more jobs, but patent monopolies can restrict competition.

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One thought on “Patent Wars

  1. I am not sure what you mean by more competition leads to more jobs. What competition? In patents? That leads to jobs for lawyers.

    The figure is super interesting. Wish I could see it better on our blog.

    My gut feeling is that Apple may have had some merit, but that overall, much of this patent war is about using the law to protect strategies and profits instead of innovation that expands choice for consumers or lowers prices.

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