This is an interesting article detailing how intellectual property laws are sometimes abused to the detriment of small businesses. So-called “patent trolls” have been targeting small businesses with bogus claims in hopes of a quick settlement. Unfortunately, most small businesses do not have the resources to deal with such claims, so they simply pay. Luckily, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation are trying to spread awareness about these “patent trolls” in order to aid small businesses
Very interesting article that shows very good the “dark side” of intellectual property.” Of course, a strong intellectual property law is very important to set the right incentives to foster innovation. But on the other hand, as we see in this article, it might also be used to prevent innovation or at least to impose hurdles on it by increasing the costs for start-ups and small businesses. Maybe, we should rethink the way patents are granted and impose higher burdens on the applicant to show that the issued patent would also be held valid by courts. Of course, this would have to be carefully balanced with the interest of entrepreneurs, in particular small businesses and start-ups, in a cheap and quick way to receive a pantent for your innovation.
Very interesting article! I found it especially interesting to compare the problem of patent-trolls as illustrated by your article to the fear discussed in this article I found in “the Hill.”
Here the author argues that patent protection might even have been weakend too much in the United States and that the new (simpler and quicker) administrative process to declare patents invalid already created an “environment of uncertainty” for U.S. investors. Whether or not the problem is as far-reaching as described in the article, it clearly shows the other side of the problem, i.e. the importance of a strong legal protection of intellectual property for incentivizing inventitive activity within an economy.