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Archived updates for Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Fixing the Patent System

According to a September 27, 2004 article in the New York Times, Josh Lerner, a professor of investment banking at the Harvard Business School, and Adam Jaffe, a professor of economics at Brandeis University, have written a new book to be published in November by Princeton University Press, entitled "Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What To Do About It." Their solution?
  • Devote more resources to those patent applications which are really the important ones, and less to the unimportant ones.
  • One level of review before and after the patent is issued, but within the patent office.
  • Reverse the trend toward jury trials for patent lawsuits.

"There's a relatively small group of people in the D.C. patent bar, and they have a very powerful influence on how patent policy gets decided. There is a powerful incentive for them to keep a patent system that is complicated, and one that involves protracted, costly litigation," Lerner reportedly told the Times.

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