Saturday, April 18, 2015

The position of Travis Stoliker on patent reform is questioned

In a piece in the Lansing State Journal, Travis Stoliker of Liquid Web omits some
pertinent  details in the saga of Henry Ford and George Selden.

Attorney George Selden did not produce cars, but the people in ALAM, who controlled
the licensing of the patent, did produce cars, and were competitors of
Ford. ALAM did not try to make Ford take a license, as present day patent assertion entities
typically do to their targets. Rather Ford sought a license but was refused.

Ford made cars anyway (at the time, the initial Model A), and was sued.
Ford lost at trial, but won on noninfringement grounds on appeal.
The Selden patent was never invalidated.

Thus, one may question whether the Ford/Selden saga is representative of what is happening now.

Separately, one may question some of the numbers advanced by Bessen and Meurer, which are relied
upon by Stoliker.  One notes that the president of Boston University, the academic home of Bessen and Meurer, takes a different position on patent reform than do Bessen and Meurer.  So do a lot of university presidents and solo inventors.

Is Stoliker out of touch with the real world of invention?


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