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IP, Patent

Deconstructing the Patent Troll Myth: A Series

Over on IPWire, I’ve posted the first three of what I expect to be a recurring theme deconstructing the patent troll narrative. Part 1 examines the lynchpin of the entire narrative: the popularized denial of property status for patents. This article points to copious academic research incontrovertibly demonstrating that patents always were, and are, intended to be considered property rights, while also demonstrating the criticality of property-denial to perpetuating the patent troll myth. Part 2 examines the common tactic of infringers to distract the public from the main issue (i.e. the illegal trespass against intellectual property) by focusing on side issues that deflect from their own conduct. Finally, Part 3 examines some of the actors in the IP licensing field that inspire much of the negative press surrounding patent owners, and compares them to historical activity to demonstrate that any system is capable of abuse while also citing historical data to show that the system overall provided a substantial net benefit to our economic development.



4 thoughts on “Deconstructing the Patent Troll Myth: A Series

  1. Long time no hear

    Posted by dbhalling | June 12, 2017, 6:41 pm
    • I am not sure that the issue is whether patents are “property rights” as much as whether a property right created by the Federal government for a specific purpose should be exposed to the free market and the market’s associated mechanisms in the same way as other property rights. Put another way, can a property right created by the federal government for a specific purpose be constrained or otherwise regulated to prevent actions that are not to the benefit of the purposes for which it was created?

      Posted by Alan Minsk | June 15, 2017, 4:25 pm
      • Thanks for the discussion, Alan. Unfortunately, there is very much an issue over whether patents are property rights vs public subsidies. Anti-patent folks will unabashedly proclaim that patents are not property rights at all, in direct contradiction to the evidence.

        Referring to your other question, I would recommend Professor Merges’ book Justifying Intellectual Property, in which he discusses what he refers as ‘mid-level principles’ which govern (in his view) the metes and bounds of the property right. My concern here is more the overall semantic issue that enables harmful narratives about patent owners.

        Posted by Patrick | June 16, 2017, 8:47 am
    • Thanks, Dale. Good to be back.

      Posted by Patrick | June 16, 2017, 8:47 am

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