WASHINGTON — On Thursday, July 23, UC Hastings Professor Robin Feldman participated in a closed-door briefing for House Judiciary Committee Members and staff regarding the pending patent reform bill, AKA the Innovation Act.
“More new patent lawsuits have been filed so far this year than in the same period for any other year,” noted Feldman, citing Lex Machina data showing that more than 3,000 new patent lawsuits were filed in the first six months of 2015.
“I think of this like driving a sports car,” said Feldman. “If you go from 50 mph to 100 mph, academics can argue over whether, taking into account lane changes and the anticipation of moves by other drivers, you are really only going 93 mph. The takeaway remains the same. We are speeding down the road, and we are going much faster than when this whole thing started.”
Feldman also talked about data showing the impact on startups and small businesses. In addition to the data, she noted: “It does not take fancy economics to know that time spent analyzing patent demands is time away from innovating and money spent on patent demands is money not spent on jobs.”
On the topic of whether inventors should be exempted from patent reform, Feldman noted that the issue is bad behavior, not the identity of the person behaving badly. “No one—neither individual inventors nor giant tech companies—should get a pass if they are engaging in behavior that undermines the patent system.”
"The patent system isn't a prize system for inventors, it is an opportunity to earn a reward if something can be made from your invention. It shouldn’t be an opportunity to force a return by frightening people.”
Finally, Professor Feldman noted studies showing that only 27 fee awards were granted in the first year after the Supreme Court loosened the standards in the Octane case. “Most important,” she said, “the number of post-Octane fee awards in the Eastern District of Texas, which gets the largest share of patent cases, was precisely zero."
The Institute for Innovation Law (http://innovation.uchastings.edu/) is a public interest academic center at UC Hastings. The Institute engages in academic research and education to encourage innovation through the practice and development of law and policy. The Institute’s mission is to identify and promote the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to encourage innovation through the practice and development of law and policy.
Dedicated to promoting Data-Driven Law-Making, the Institute seeks to empower regulators to make informed decisions using reliable and objective analysis. Importantly, the Institute is developing a set of resources, skills, and knowledge applicable to other areas of the law. Research on legal issues that limit entrepreneurship is one part of a purpose driven initiative to study Data Driven Law Making. The Data Driven Law Making initiative is part of a greater effort by the Institute to support all aspects of innovation, legal and technical, at the intersection of the law and technology.
The Institute’s work is comprised of both research initiatives and a classroom component. Administratively, the Institute serves as the umbrella entity over three sub-programs: the Startup Legal Garage, the Law and Bioscience Project, and the Privacy and Technology Project.
Alex A.G. Shapiro
Director, Communications & Public Affairs
UC Hastings College of the Law
Office: (415) 581-8842
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