The Paradox of Patent Assertion Entities


In March 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released The Evolving IP Marketplace: Aligning Patent Notice and Remedies with Competition, its antitrust policy review of the patent marketplace in which it unveiled the term “patent assertion entities” (PAEs) as a substitute for the derisive term “patent trolls.”

... As Reuven Brenner, lecturer at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, asks in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece: what would happen if the life of patents in some industries, such as software, were shortened to three to five years (as suggested by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos)? Brenner’s question (and Bezos’s suggested policy alternative) has merit and is seriously worth considering, as software inventions do not require the same amount of time to earn back their investment as those found in the more capital intensive, high-risk biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries.

Read full article: The American, August 12, 2013