Friday, June 26, 2009

Good and bad patents: ask Bob Dylan

The 271Blog covered a session on NPEs at the IAM IP Business Congress and noted:

It was a very engaging session, which left some serious questions needing answers. Specifically, the public perception of NPE's has currently been couched in terms of "bad" patents being asserted to extract "illegitimate" licensing fees. No doubt this practice exists and is a horrific drain on resources (even Acacia/Altitude disparaged such opportunistic litigation, claiming it "makes little business sense", but commented that it is a "dwindling" practice). However, what about the "good" patents? Suppose a particular NPE patent is independently reviewed by scientists and lawyers and is objectively determined to have innovative merit. What then?

Of course, what are "good" patents and what are "bad" patents?

From Bob Dylan:

Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.


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