Patent News

Oct. 26, 2015

Intellectual Asset Management: Devastating New York Times critique of US patent reform may indicate the pendulum is swinging back, by Joff Wild

This post originally appeared in Intellectual Asset Management on October 26, 2015.

The Gerald Loeb Award is regarded as one of the most prestigious there is in business journalism. Past winners include some of the profession’s biggest and most influential names. Among them is New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, who has been a recipient three times – in 1993, 1996 and 2008. That kind of recognition makes Nocera an influential voice; and that is why his column entitled The Patent Troll Smokescreen, which was published by the Times on 23rd October, is potentially so significant. But not only significant, also bang on the money.

Actually, that is not quite right. In using the award of $234 million to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), after a jury found that its patents had been infringed by Apple, as a segue into a devastating critique of the patent reform troll narrative, Nocera assumes that no-one would ever seriously consider WARF itself to be a troll. He is wrong. WARF has been labelled that many times and back in 2012 was identified by Business Insider as the fifth most fearsome troll out there.