Friday, March 13, 2015

The matter of patent infringement suits against small businesses

From within a piece by David Pridham in TheHill:


The patent licensing community itself is also working to curb bad actors within its ranks. The Licensing Executive Society of the U.S. and Canada, the industry’s 50-year-old professional group, voted at last year’s annual meeting to develop a set of best practices that codify ethical licensing behavior. My own company, meanwhile, has publicly vowed to never work with patent owners who sue small businesses or extort settlements via serial demand letters.


Elsewhere in the article:


The truth is that patent licensing is as American as apple pie, and always has been. In the 19th Century, Charles Goodyear never made or sold rubber products. Instead, he licensed his patented process for vulcanizing rubber to other companies to commercialize. Similarly, Elias Howe licensed his revolutionary lockstitch mechanism to the Singer Company. And Thomas Edison licensed his patented incandescent light bulb to the General Electric Company.

In fact, scholars estimate that more than two-thirds of the great inventors of the 19th Century Industrial Revolution licensed their inventions directly to manufacturers or employed licensing agents like my company to do so in their stead.


As a small comment, IPBiz notes that Thomas Edison never licensed anything to General Electric.
J. P. Morgan crested General Electric by merging Edison General Electric and Thomson Houston.
A big motivation was to get the AC patents of Thomson. Edison did not have a management role in GE.


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