Patent News

Jan. 17, 2016

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Opinion: Let’s stop treating patents as humbug, by Kali Murray

This post originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on January 17, 2016.

In “Ozma of Oz,” a sequel to the famed “Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy comes across a remarkable copper clockwork man, a mechanical robot running on clockwork springs. Dismissing the invention, Dorothy’s companion says that a clockwork man might be a “wonderful machine,” but that “it is all humbug, like so many other patented articles.”

L. Frank Baum wrote “Ozma of Oz” in 1907. However, his skeptical opinion of patents is echoed by those who are currently seeking far-reaching legislative changes to the U.S. patent system. For them, patented inventions are just “humbug” and not worth protecting in the manner that our Founders thought necessary to promote innovation and creativity in the American democracy.