Once More With Feeling: Patent Reform Introduced, And This Time The Trial Lawyers May Not Be Able To Kill It

from the will-it-make-a-difference dept

This was widely expected, but Rep. Goodlatte has now officially re-introduced his patent reform bill, which largely mirrors the one that sailed through the House with ease a little over a year ago (in part because they took out some of the key parts). The Senate bill was a bit stronger and was on the verge of passing until the trial lawyers called up Senator Harry Reid, and had him flat out kill the bill, despite widespread bipartisan support. As we noted at the time, it seemed like the trial lawyers may have miscalculated, because it was already clear that the Republicans were likely to gain control over the Senate in the 2014 elections (as they did), and they were not interested in bowing down to the trial lawyers.

Hopefully that means that a decent patent reform bill will actually make it through Congress this time around, but it still seems likely that, while it may help around the edges, the final bill probably won’t be strong enough to fully solve the problems. Still, it’s a good step forward, and at the very least, in clearing out some of the problems with the current system (often highlighted via trollish behavior) it will shine the light on remaining problems in the system.

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Comments on “Once More With Feeling: Patent Reform Introduced, And This Time The Trial Lawyers May Not Be Able To Kill It”

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Patent Abolition

The only real reform required to the patent system is to abolish it altogether. It is kept alive by various bad actors, such as patent lawyers and the pharmaceutical industry. The patent trolls are the patent lawyers in disguise. The intellectual justification for the patent system is based on the myth of inventors surviving on their licensing revenue. Such inventors are an extinct species, so no economic loss would be incurred by failing to provide them with a government-granted monopoly. How many papers do economists have to publish showing that the cost of the patent system far exceeds its benefits? The patent system kills start-ups at their most vulnerable time. Over 99% of all patents are junk patents. Politicians are always claiming they are about “jobs, jobs, jobs”, but they never fix the huge job-killing mess that is the patent system.

If the cost of something exceeds its benefits, then do not do it. Just stop it.


Re: Patent Abolition

this may not be suprising but I’m a Small d democrat who LIKES trial lawyers for the most part See: Here: http://www.salon.com/2004/07/13/lawyers_3/

what happened to Valerie Lakey was Terrible and if it hadn’t been for John Edwards the Corporations who made those pool drains would have had NO incentive to clean up their Act but as far as Patents are concerned I agree with you whole heartedly and I’m tired of Libertarians on the matter because too many of them are too scared shitless to do the only Decent thing and Abolish the Entire !@#$ING patent system. Just. Kill. It. That’s the only real Reform. Ideas should be free.


Re: Re: Re:

From being a student of US and international legal history, reading the Federalist Papers, reading the writings of luminaries such as Madison and Jefferson, studying innumerable treatises and published research, studying court decisions, and a middling familiarity with rules of grammar. FYI, at the time the Copyright Act of 1790 was enacted, the term “science”” was used I reference to “knowledge/learning” and “progress” was a reference to the encouragement of such knowledge/learning. When the federalist papers first reported debates associated with what became Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, the debates centered around the encouragement of science by the grant of certain rights to authors by the federal government (at the time such rights were conferred by states with the encouragement of Congress during the period of time associated with the Articles of Confederation). Only later did the grant of right to inventors in association with the useful arts enter into the debate.


Nice catch Mike

Nice catch, this one went by me. The truth is, until all software patents are banned outright none of us are safe from commons-destroying litigation. I wonder if there is a good resource that lays out what different nation’s sw patent laws are, similar to the maps of data-mining privacy laws that are out there…..


Worse than nothing?

Still, it’s a good step forward, and at the very least, in clearing out some of the problems with the current system (often highlighted via trollish behavior) it will shine the light on remaining problems in the system.

Isn’t it possible this will lead Congress to believe they’ve “fixed it” and now we won’t get a real reform bill for a long time?

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