Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The belief that our patent system is broken is patently false | ... Broken as designed?

The belief that our patent system is broken is patently false (guest column) | Detroit Free Press |

This is a very interesting article by David Kappos (IP attorney and director of the USPTO). Intellectual Property, especially patents, is a critical foundation of the US economy and of our entrepreneurial proficiency.

But we shouldn't take it for granted.

That's why some of the IP, Hi-Tech companies have joined together into an American alliance of innovation: Partnership for American Innovation

Companies need to take advantage of IP and use it aggressively both domestically and abroad. Especially if we are in the US where we do have strong rule of (IP) law. We must avoid allowing countries with lax IP laws to overrun us on our own strengths, our strengths to innovate.

We need to aim for Perpetual Innovation(tm). Hall & Hinkelman talk about Perpetual Innovation(tm) in their 2013 book on Patent Commercialization argue that many companies are broken-as-designed. They are not designed around managing their intellectual assets; they still operate as if most of their assets and most of their value comes from physical assets.

The US Patent system may not be broken, but many companies are. And IP is a critical part of all innovation and the pipeline of new products.

Hall, E. B. & Hinkelman, R. M. (2013). Perpetual Innovation™: A guide to strategic planning,
patent commercialization and enduring competitive advantage, Version 2.0
Morrisville, NC: LuLu Press. Retrieved from:
Hall, E. B. & Hinkelman, R. M. (2013). Perpetual Innovation™: Patent primer 2.0:
Patents, the great equalizer of our time! An overview of intellectual property
with patenting cost estimates for inventors and entrepreneurs.
  Morrisville, NC: LuLu Press. Retrieved from:
(or Kindle at

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  1. It seems to me the former Director is missing the chaos "on the ground" as it were. As one with nearly 25 years in IP, much of it with a F-50 technology leader,NPE/patent trolls have created a chaos that is haveing serious expense impacts on patent holders ultimately driving up the coats of products and services. For example, decades ago a group that would be known as 'trolls' asserted five patents against one of our technolgy systems. To combat the assertions, lab scientists and patent attorneys were put on special assignment for months to determine validity if any. Eventually, invalidity was established and interface with the group was terminated. Time away from productive work, study distraction, study costs in curred. Fast forward to today when trolls are an IP operating segment shotgunning assertions, litigations resembling a new form of corporate blackmail- "pay us or we'll sue you." Either defense or capitulation is costly ultimately raising consumer costs. And, that it good for IP? Really?

  2. Ha Ha. Good points. Let's see if others have ideas on this discussion.