The cover story of this influential British magazine is “Set Innovation Free!”* The subtitle says what they really mean: Time to fix the patent system. In this blog, I’ve argued that the current patent regime retards overall innovation. It’s not aligned with empirical studies of creativity research. Patents are awarded to a single entity, as if… Read More The Economist Shouts: “Set Innovation Free!”
One of the most fascinating stories in patent law is now over 100 years old: the story about how the Wright Brothers tried to lock up all legal rights to human flight. I told this story in my 2007 book Group Genius, and I’ve just learned that Lawrence Goldstone has told a new version–in his… Read More The Airplane: Not Invented By the Wright Brothers
Today’s Wall Street Journal reports two new developments in U.S. IP law. First, on Saturday March 16, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is dramatically changing its patent system, from a “first to invent” to a “first to file.”* Under the old first-to-invent system, if you could document that you were the first person… Read More Intellectual Property Law Update
I’ve just participated in a small conference on copyright and patent law, hosted by the American Law Institute and Georgetown University Law Center, a few steps from Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Of the 40 people in the room, I was the only one who was not a lawyer or a legal scholar—I was invited… Read More Bringing Together Copyright and Patent Law
Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is suing Google, claiming that Android infringes on iOS (iPhone) patents. One of Apple’s patents is apparently for the feature of clicking on a phone number in a web page, to make the phone automatically dial that number. That patent should be invalidated immediately, for several reasons: 1.… Read More Clickable Phone Numbers: Obvious or Not?
Last week a U.S. jury sided with Apple in its patent case against Samsung and awarded Apple $1.05 billion. Robin Feldman, an intellectual property law professor at the University of California Hastings Law School, said this just before the verdict: “The trial is evidence of a patent system that is out of control. No matter… Read More Apple Wins in Court; Innovation Loses
I just returned from a fascinating event at Notre Dame Law School, the Creativity and the Law Symposium. Organized by Professor Mark McKenna, the symposium consisted of 14 presentations, most of them by intellectual property (IP) lawyers who are looking to psychological science to learn how IP law can best foster creativity and innovation. The… Read More Creativity and the Law