Patent News

Jan. 19, 2015

Intellectual Asset Management: Hammering “trolls” harms US prosperity, says top BASF IP strategist, by Richard Lloyd

This post originally appeared in Intellectual Asset Management on January 19, 2015.

US legislators have arrived back on Capitol Hill with patent reform again firmly on the agenda. Congressman Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and author of the Innovation Act in the last Congress, has made clear that it is one of his priorities.

Much of the reform debate has focused on the actions of ‘patent trolls’ or troll-like behaviour, which advocates of fundamental change claim hinder innovation and damage the US economy. However, Michael LoCascio, the director of global IP strategy in chemical giant BASF’s catalyst division, sees it differently. In an exclusive article for the IAM blog, he states that legislation designed to go after ‘trolls’ actually risks harming a system that has so far served the US economy very well for over 200 years.

With the ongoing impact of the America Invents Act (AIA) and efforts to improve the examination process at the USPTO still taking effect, LoCascio cautions Congress to exercise restraint. That is an argument that has been made on this blog before by Professor Mark Lemley of Stanford Law School and was a key message sent to legislators before Christmas in a letter from the Innovation Alliance and a group of organisations representing the pharma and bio-tech sectors and a range of American universities. The question now is, will it gain traction on the Hill?