Advancing a Free Society

The Patent Process Run Amok

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

For many years the Supreme Court has been intervening in patent cases, including three patent cases in the Court’s present term. That should trouble anyone interested in improving innovation, competition, jobs, and economic growth.

These cases are converting our patent system from one that fosters innovation and competition into one that frustrates both. This is surprising because in some other commercial areas of law like antitrust, the Court has over the past several years generally tacked in a direction that favors markets.

These cases are making it harder for patents to serve their socially beneficial role in helping bring new technologies to market by facilitating coordination among inventors, investors, managers, laborers, distributors, and the like, so they can form new business ventures. Instead these cases are helping big companies collude with each other while tying up market entrants in endless process.

Continue reading Scott Kieff at our sister site Defining Ideas