Opinions and Editorials

May. 6, 2024

IPWatchdog: New Data Show There Is a Problem with the U.S. Patent System—But It’s Not Patent Trolls by Julie Carlson

If the headlines are to be believed, every aspect of American life, from farming to football, is under threat due to excessive patent litigation. While these anecdotes may seem compelling, it is important to look at the underlying data before drawing any conclusions about the state of the U.S. patent system. As an economist and one of the authors of the Federal Trade Commission’s study of patent assertion entities (PAEs), I understand the value data can bring to patent policy debates, and have also seen firsthand the damage evidence-free policymaking has on America’s innovation ecosystem. On World IP Day, Marcum, LLP, a leading accounting and advisory firm, released a report that examines 20 years of patent infringement decisions at U.S. district courts. A careful reading of their report reveals that not only is patent litigation not excessive, but patent owners struggle to enforce their patents against infringers. The report shows that overall patent litigation is declining, injunction grants are low, and litigation by non-practicing entities (NPEs) is not pervasive.

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