Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Rod Lewis of Micron fulminates, but he's wrong on patent law reform

Back in November 2006, STEVEN R. APPLETON, the chairman, CEO and president of Micron Technology, wrote a pro-patent reform piece in the Salt Lake Tribune; in July 2007, we have ROD LEWIS (vice president of legal affairs and general counsel for Micron Technology, Inc.) hammering the same nail within the confines of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Within his piece, Lewis writes:

The Federal Trade Commission, the National Academy of Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations and academics from a host of top universities have all said in one form or another that the patent system is stifling innovation and something has to be done about it.

As I've noted elsehwere, the report frequently termed the "National Academy of Sciences" report came from STEP, which is a group of economists affiliated with the NAS (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP)) Furthermore, careful reading of the National Academy of Sciences/STEP report reveals a lack of firmness in the "patent quality" conclusion. At page 3, one reads: "The claim that quality has deteriorated in a broad and systematic way could be, but has not been, empirically tested. Therefore, conclusions must remain tentative." At page 48, one has the statement: "Nevertheless, the claim that quality has deteriorated in a broad and systematic way has not been empirically tested." Untested theories are certainly not the stuff Congress should be relying upon to fashion patent reform.

Of "academics from a host of top universities," one academic at Stanford University proclaimed that Gary Boone invented the integrated ciruit and published that belief in the Stanford Law Review. Is this the kind of thinking that Rod Lewis relies upon?
Of other errors that academics have put forth in arguing for patent law reform, see

Inadvertent Argument Against Peer-to-Patent

Is the Jaffe/Lerner Analysis of Patent Law Correct?

Getting the Patent Reform Wars Back on Track


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