State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

Flawed Study by Boston University Used to Justify Infringement

The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls, Boston University School of Law Working Paper No. 11-45, by James E. Bessen, Michael J. Meurer, and Jennifer Laurissa Ford.

Patrick Anderson at GametimeIP wrote and excellent analysis of this paper entitled,  Did Serial Infringers Commission “Academic” Patent Study To Support Widespread Infringement? He notes that the authors’ thank the “Coalition for Patent Fairness”, which is the group of large companies like Cisco, Microsoft, Dell, etc. who have been pushing to weaken our patent laws for years.  He believes it is unlikely that their support was limited to “atta boys.”

Next Patrick shows that the methodology used by the authors is flawed.  He points out three major flaws:

First, and perhaps even more importantly, the basis for the conclusion rests on the laughable assertion that “reaction of the [accused infringer] firm’s share price during the days following the filing of [a patent infringement] lawsuit” is by any means a valid proxy for estimating the “private losses” of companies so accused.  Second, the authors imply that monies paid by infringers but not reaching “small inventors” has somehow been entirely wasted, without benefit.  Finally, the researcher’s objectivity is compromised–not only by the apparent close relationship with companies routinely accused of appropriating inventions belonging to others–but by the way they present their findings to the reader. In particular, the authors disparage an entire class of patent owners based on reasons entirely beyond the patent owner’s control.

Please read the full article.

 

The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls , Boston University School of Law Working Paper No. 11-45, by James E. Bessen, Michael J. Meurer, and Jennifer Laurissa Ford.

 

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September 21, 2011 Posted by | News, Patents | , , , | Leave a comment