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Legally Speaking

In conversation with UC Hastings Professor Joan C. Williams.

UC Hastings Professor Joan Williams welcomes U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for a conversation that touches on a broad range of subjects, from opera to marriage to work/life balance, doctrinal questions, and cases from the 1970's to present, including the court's role in establishing individual rights and equal protection. 
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Patent Troll Expert Robin Feldman Available for Comment after FTC Chairwoman Ramirez Calls For Investigation

San Francisco, CA – Professor Robin Feldman, Director of the UC Hastings Institute for Innovation Law, today welcomed FTC Chairwoman Ramirez’s speech stressing the need for FTC hearings on a broad-ranging investigation into patent trolling, calling it “precisely what is needed.”

FTC Chairwoman Ramirez’s speech extensively cited data from Professor Robin Feldman’s research at the UCHastings Institute for Innovation Law, as did the recent White House Report on Patent Assertion.

Professor Robin Feldman's work is widely regarded as some of the most influential scholarship in the field of patent law. Her landmark study "The America Invents Act 500 Expanded: Effects of Patent Monetization Entities on US Litigation”, conducted at the UC Hastings Institute for Innovation Law, has ignited debate and further investigation by both the White House and the FTC on the definition of patent assertion entities – firms with a business model focused primarily on purchasing and asserting patents. The definition of a patent assertion entity has been hotly debated.

"Whale's tail" graph showing the percentage of lawsuits by patent monetization entities climbing in recent years. (now a majority and reaching almost 60% in 2012).

Chart of the top 10 most

Chart of the top 10 most "frequent flyers" that is, those who have filed the greatest number of patent lawsuits since 2007. All 10 are patent monetization entities. Not a single one makes products.

Professor Feldman has written and researched extensively on patent assertion including:

  • The America Invents Act 500 Expanded: Effects of Patent Monetization Entities, forthcoming UCLA J. L. & Tech. 2013, with Tom Ewing & Sara Jeruss (expanding the earlier study to include 13,000 patent lawsuits involving 30,000 patent assertions documenting that as of 2012, a majority of patent lawsuits (almost 60%) are now filed by those who assert patents, rather than making products).
  • The America Invents Act 500: Effects of Patent Monetization Entities on US Litigation, 11 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 357 (2012), with Sara Jeruss & Joshua Walker, (flowing from work for the GAO mandated by Congress and concluding that the percentage of patent lawsuits filed by monetization entities has risen dramatically from 2007-2011); http://dltr.law.duke.edu/2012/11/30/the-america-invents-act-500-effects-of-patent-monetization-entities-on-us-litigation/
  • Rethinking Patent Rights (Harvard 2012) (analyzing modern patent bargaining);
  • The Giants Among Us, 2012 Stanford Tech. L. Rev. 1, with Tom Ewing (discussing the antitrust implications of mass aggregators and describing 1,300 subsidiaries of the largest and most secretive aggregator). http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1923449
  • Intellectual Property Wrongs (forthcoming 2013, Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance), available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2127558 (including 30 pages of examples of troubling behavior in intellectual property assertion. Pages 70-78 of the article also set out how an FTC Section 6(b) investigation might be structured.)

About the Institute for Innovation Law

The UCHastings Institute for Innovation Law is dedicated to promoting Data-Driven Law-Making, allowing courts, legislators, and regulators to make informed decisions using reliable and objective analysis. Focusing on Innovation, the Institute provides a trusted source of high-quality, substantive academic research that will help create the tools and knowledge necessary to cultivate a culture of innovation. The Institute also has several substantive programs under its umbrella, including the Privacy + Technology Project; the Law & Bioscience Project, and the Startup Clinics—in which students help with legal work for early stage technology and bioscience companies under the pro bono supervision of attorneys at major law firms. With 10 faculty members, The Institute is directed by Professor Robin Feldman.

Media Contact:

Alex A.G. Shapiro
Director, Communications & Public Affairs
UC Hastings College of the Law
Office: (415) 581-8842
Cell: (415) 813-9214
Email: shapiroa@uchastings.edu

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