Patent News

Mar. 28, 2017

George Mason University CPIP Blog: Lobbyists Continue to Invoke Discredited Junk Science to Push Patent Legislation, by David Lund

This post originally appeared in George Mason University’s CPIP blog on March 28, 2017.

It seems no matter how many times the mole gets whacked, it keeps popping back up. The latest incarnation of this problem is a recent op-ed by Katie Johnson of the National Association of Realtors, which relies on a long since discredited study about the state of patent litigation in the United States. She goes on to make matters worse by using the highly misleading “patent troll” moniker and positively referring to an out of control bureaucracy that is destroying patents at an alarming rate.

Although Ms. Johnson cites only the $1.75 million estimate to defend a patent suit from the flawed study, the entire study was flawed from top to bottom. To achieve its desired result of blaming “trolls” for high litigation costs, the study defined “trolls” to include individual inventors, universities, startups, and even manufacturers who also license their patents. The study also ignores the benefits of the patent system for small business patent owners and inventors who must rely on litigation to stop piracy of their new innovation.