IP Watchdog: Why Patents Matter

Great article in IP Watchdog of why patents matter.


-The article quotes a Patent Survey conducted by UC Berkeley School of Law which finds that:

In fact, 67% of firms surveyed indicated that the existence of patents were an important factor in their investment decisions. And for those software folks who always want to incorrectly believe they don’t need funding, the figure was 60% for software companies. Higher were biotech companies (73%) and medical device companies (85%), proving that it doesn’t matter what industry you are in, significant percentages of VCs place a premium on patents when making funding decisions.

The article suggests that:

What can be done to help the venture climate with minimal assistance from Congress?  How about issuing more patents!  Since VCs overwhelmingly place a premium on patents when making funding decisions the enormous backlog of unexamined patent applications presents a tremendous burden on the formation of funded businesses…

During fiscal year 2010 Congress siphoned of some $70 million from the Patent Office, and this year the Patent Office is collecting more than $1 million a day it cannot use.  You see, the Patent and Trademark Office of the United States government is a revenue generating entity.  User fees are supposed to go to the administration of the Office, but amounts over and above what Congress appropriates does not go back into the Office to invest in people, systems and infrastructure, but rather it goes to things that have nothing to do with innovation and the patenting thereof.

For more data and the rest of the interesting article.


2 Responses

  1. As patent law expert Gene Quinn pointed out, ever since Congress started the practice of fee diversion, the USPTO has been precipitously sliding into dysfunction. Every major enterprise requires capital, and it’s evident that fee diversion has caused a generation-long crippling of the patent office. If our legislators are serious about wanting to improve the US economy, then they will halt their new habit of diverting funds from the USPTO.

  2. We have all made the arguments the issuing of patents leads to job growth. The nay-sayers would have people believe however that the issuing of patents is a drag on the economy. The factual realities are stark and tell a clear and unmistakable tale patents are good for the economy and promote job growth..Those who are not fond of the patent system like to pretend that innovation is free and will happen despite funding.

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