Intellectual Property

Patents

A patent provides protection for an invention to the owner of the patent. The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years. Patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold without the patent owner's consent.

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Quotes

Changing U.S. Patent Policy on Tech Standards Stirs Concerns

"The best way to resolve this issue is not to change policy approaches." — Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford University


Mark Lemley
Source: Bloomberg Law
December 26, 2018

Our Pick of the Decade’s Eight Best Young Economists

The Economist names MIT’s Heidi Williams among "the decade's eight best young economists." Professor Williams is lauded for her pursuit of a "more rigorous understanding of technological progress in medicine and health care."


Heidi Williams
Source: The Economist
December 18, 2018

Buying Bitcoin Led Patent Mega-Millionaire to an Even Bigger Investing Idea

"If they can screen out bad patents, the application becomes more attractive to potential licensees. The value of his system is how much noise there is. I know there's lots of bad patents out there." — Mark Schankerman, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics


Mark Schankerman
Source: CNBC
January 12, 2018

Patent ‘Trolls’ Recede as Threat to Innovation. Will Justices Change That?

"It probably hasn’t made patent trolls go away, but it’s changed their demands. Now they sue and ask for $50,000 rather than sue and ask for $1 million." — Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford University


Mark Lemley
Source: The New York Times
November 21, 2017

Instagram’s Snapchat Ripoff Is Brazen and Totally Fine

"The idea of featured ‘Stories’ is not new, so any patents would likely be quite specific to implementation details. And because the implementation/interfaces are slightly different, copyright doesn’t provide any protection. This is an area where IP laws don’t prevent the copying of another’s features or innovations." — R. Polk Wagner, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania


R. Polk Wagner
Source: Wired
August 2, 2016

The Best Way to Fight a Patent Demand May Be to Do Nothing

"Research suggests that the harms from patent demands often flow not from the fact of being sued, but from being in a drawn-out, expensive dispute. Stories of small companies winning in the courtroom, but spending so much time and money on a case that they damage their business, are unfortunately commonplace." — Colleen Chien, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University


Colleen Chien
Source: Wall Street Journal
November 23, 2015

Alice Is Killing the Trolls -- But Expect Patent Lawyers to Strike Back

"We may be going back to the world of the 1980s; not only the patentable subject matter world but maybe also in claiming and means plus function claims." — Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford University


Mark Lemley
Source: InfoWorld
September 18, 2014

The Lesson of the Power Loom

"During the early stage of a major new technology, inventors share designs and knowledge and patent little; later, things become more competitive and patents play a larger role. As technologies mature, firms share less and patent more." — James Bessen, Lecturer, Boston University School of Law


James Bessen
Source: Slate
May 21, 2014

States Revise Laws to Curb 'Patent Trolls'

"The vast majority of these lawsuits are from bottom-feeders that send out letters to all sorts of small companies."  — James Bessen, Lecturer, Boston University School of Law


James Bessen
Source: Wall Street Journal
May 21, 2014

States Revise Laws to Curb 'Patent Trolls'

Forty percent of small firms that received demand letters from patent trolls delayed hiring, changed their product or business strategy or had other "significant" impacts on their operations, according to a 2012 study by Colleen Chien, an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University who now works in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


Colleen Chien
Source: Wall Street Journal
May 21, 2014
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TAP Blog

TAP Scholars Work on Intellectual Property Issues

In honor of World IP Day, TAP highlights a few of the articles and scholars that examine intellectual property technology-policy issues.

TAP Staff Blogger

Fact Sheets

Software Patents

A patent provides an exclusive legal right to an invention for a limited period of time, in exchange for public disclosure of that innovation. As with other property rights, patents may be sold, transferred, or licensed for a third party’s use.

Featured Article

A Simple Approach to Setting Reasonable Royalties for Standard-Essential Patents

This article suggests binding arbitration as a way to resolve disputes arising within standard-setting organizations.

By: Mark Lemley, Carl Shapiro