The Next Wave
Professor Mark A. Lemley is quoted in CFO Magazine in an article about how financial woes might tempt companies to try to improve their revenue by dusting off old patents to see if they can win intellectual property lawsuits:
Recessions often inspire an uptick in intellectual-property litigation, warns Mark Lemley, director of the Stanford University Program in Law, Science and Technology. When top lines sputter, managers scrutinize balance sheets for untapped revenue. They might reinvest in lucrative patents, dust off others that might pay off, and cast about for anything that might be deemed a violation of their intellectual-property rights. Rivals, meanwhile, challenge patents in order to carve out their own turf, and bankruptcies can complicate the matter by setting IP rights adrift. "CFOs in particular should be paying attention," Lemley advises.
"A lot of existing patents may turn out to be invalidated," says Lemley. Watch for Bilski to rear its head in a number of cases this year.