Patent News

Oct. 6, 2016

George Mason University CPIP Blog: FTC’s PAE Study Makes Unsupported Recommendations

This post originally appeared on the George Mason University CPIP blog on October 6, 2016.

The FTC released its long-awaited study of so-called patent assertion entities, or PAEs, today. As many predicted, the FTC makes several broad recommendations for substantive and procedural reforms. The problem with this, however, is that the study was not designed to reveal the sort of data that could support such policy recommendations.

The FTC itself even admitted this. When seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to go ahead with the study, the FTC explained that its findings “will not be generalizable to the universe of all PAE activity.” In another submission to the OMB, the FTC acknowledged that “the case study should be viewed as descriptive and probative for future studies seeking to explore the relationships between organizational form and assertion behavior.” Now that the study is out, we see that the FTC has neglected to recognize the very limitations it once acknowledged to exist.