We’re seeing it in the headlines a lot these days – Huge companies bring frivolous patent claim lawsuits in an effort to … well …. extort money from competitors.

“The patent system is intended to incentivize innovation, but the current system often does the opposite. 

The traditional model of patent licensing—whereby a company pays a patent owner to license an invention that the company legitimately uses—has been hijacked by non-practicing entities (“ patent trolls ”) and other aggressive patent holders who assert overbroad patents that never should have been granted in the first place.

Within this broken patent regime, companies are increasingly hacking the system—that is, finding alternatives to the traditional patent licensing model in order to both promote open innovation and protect the companies themselves.”

— Marta Belcher and John Casey, Stanford Law School (May 2014)

Hacking the Patent System

A Guide for Innovators

Prepared by the Juelsgaard Intellectual Property & Innovation Clinic at Stanford Law, this is a useful starting place for companies trying to navigate the patent landscape.  It is concise (less than 20 pages), cogent, and actionable.  Here’s an overview:

Introduction to Alternative Patent Licensing

  • The Patent System Is Broken
  • Innovators Are Hacking the System to Use Patents for Good
  • Opting Out of the Patent System May Not Solve the Problem

Defensive Patent Aggregators

  • Unified Patents
  • Allied Security Trust (AST)
  • RPX

Patent Pledges

  • Defensive Patent License (DPL)
  • Open Invention Network (OIN)
  • Twitter’s Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA)
  • Google’s License on Transfer (LOT) AgreementComparison

Intellectual Capital as an Investment

Check It Out

Thanks to Creative Commons and the Electronic Frontier Foundation for sharing this valuable, helpful information.

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(c) copyright John Vaughan / The Communication Studio