The Role of Patents 

  • Property Rights: Patent Rights vs. Property: The Framers’ Understanding of Patents

    • Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement explores what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they included patent law in the founding of the country. While there has been a recent movement to categorize patents among natural law or common law property rights, Clement argues that patents are government-created privileges or franchises to serve the public interest. 


Inter Partes Review (IPR)


Alice & Section 101


Patent Quality

  • How to fix the patent quality crisis

    • HTIA Executive Director David Jones argues that we need to address the patent quality issue head on, by giving patent examiners more time and better tools, ensuring the cost of examination needs are paid out of patent application fees, and strengthening IPR. 

  • Where’s the Innovation: An Analysis of the Quantities and Qualities of Anticipated and Obvious Patents

    • A 2013 academic study estimates that 28% of all patents are partially or entirely invalid and even higher for patents on software and business methods. That means around 1 million invalid patents are currently in force, with another 100,000 invalid patents issued each year. 

  • Irrational Ignorance at the Patent Office

    • According to this 2019 study, on average the PTO spends about 18 hours examining each patent application. The authors found this results in more invalid patents being granted in the U.S., while Europe and countries like Japan denied patents for the same invention.

  • Decreasing the Patent Office’s Incentives to Grant Invalid Patents

    • Frakes and Wasserman build upon new empirical evidence to propose three changes to the patent system that would reduce the issuance of invalid patents: (1) restructuring PTO fees; (2) limiting repeat applications where applicants can file for the same invention; and (3) increasing the time examiners spend reviewing patent applications.

  • Continuing Patent Applications and Performance of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as of Fiscal Year 2018

    • The USPTO is unique in permitting applicants to refile their patent applications to take another turn at examination, resulting in a stockpile of additional rework for examiners. This study suggests doing away with refiled continuing applications to improve the examination backlog and redirect resources for more thorough examination of new patent applications. 


Infringement & Litigation

  • Patent Trolls: Evidence from Targeted Firms

    • Harvard Business School study examines the rise of patent lawsuits brought by non-practicing entities (NPEs) and finds clear evidence patent trolls harm innovation through their opportunistic behavior in targeting vulnerable companies with frivolous lawsuits.

  • The effect of patent litigation and patent assertion entities on entrepreneurial activity

    • Empirical analysis of the statistical relationship between patent litigation and venture capital investment in the U.S. The paper finds there is a tipping point when increases in the number of patents litigated are associated with decreased VC investment. Litigation by frequent patent litigators is also associated with decreased VC investment. 

  • The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls

    • A Boston University study analyzed stock market data to find that NPE lawsuits are associated with half a trillion dollars of lost wealth to defendants, many of which are technology companies who invest heavily in R&D, resulting in reduced innovation incentives and a net loss of social welfare. 

  • 2019 Unified Annual Patent Dispute Report

    • The number of 2019 patent litigation involving Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs) increased by 4% compared to 2018, even as overall litigation dropped slightly and PTAB filings decreased significantly. 

  • RPX: Q4 in Review: NPE Filings Rebound as Operating Company Litigation Declines

    • 2019 saw a continued increase in patent litigation activity driven by non-practicing entities (“NPEs”), accounting for the greatest share of litigation filed during each quarter of last year. 

  • 2018 PwC Patent Litigation Study

    • An annual study from PwC reports on U.S. patent litigation findings, such as filing trends, median damages, and patent trial success rates. 


Other Resources