Opinions and Editorials

Mar. 29, 2023

Real Clear Policy: Inventors Have a Right to Sell Their Patented Products by Blocking Copycats by Paul Michel and Kathleen O’Malley

A little-known Supreme Court decision is allowing corporations to violate the intellectual property rights of their rivals — and largely get away with it. Letting this precedent stand any longer would discourage America’s innovators, and by extension, harm our economy and our competitive standing in the world.We are two former federal judges appointed by presidents of different parties, but we agree that it is past time for the Court to revisit its 2006 decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. Since it has not, Congress ought to step in and protect U.S. inventors from patent predators.The problem involves “injunctions,” the legal term for when judges order someone to stop their illegal actions. For instance, a judge might issue an injunction against a homeowner throwing grass clippings into their neighbor’s yard, or a business pouring toxic sludge into a pristine river.

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