It may seem like an insider issue, but patent policy affects the public, said Dan Ravicher, executive director of the nonprofit Public Patent Foundation. He said policy makers need to consider the effect poor patent quality and other issues have on product prices, innovation and civil liberties.
"The patent system is one that benefits a very small group of people, and it has a corresponding harm on a very large group of people," said Ravicher, a patent attorney who started the foundation in 2003.
From DuPont's perspective, the U.S. patent system is the "gold standard in the world," said Uma Chowdhry, DuPont's chief science and technology officer.
DuPont holds more than 6,000 active U.S. patents, and they're coming at a greater rate -- since 2000, DuPont's U.S. patent filings have more than doubled, and patents granted have increased more than 50 percent, according to company financial filings.
Ravicher, who spearheaded a frivolous, and losing, challenge to WARF's patents, is wrong to say the patent system benefits a small group of people, unless you think
only a small group of people benefit from patented drugs, airplanes, transistors, integrated circuits, or photocopiers.