US Reform: Overhaul ‘Fails To Address System’s Weaknesses’
Professor Mark A. Lemley spoke with Richard Waters of the Financial Times on the potential limits that could be placed on what qualifies for patent protection.
After a legislative effort dating back to the middle of the last decade, the US Congress succeeded last year in passing the first reform to the country’s patent system for more than 50 years.
Yet, while there was general agreement that an overhaul was badly needed, the law that was eventually passed did little to fix what is widely seen as the current system’s chief weakness: that it leads to the issuing of too many patents that lack real innovation and that clog up the legal system once their holders seek to enforce them against alleged infringers.
A number of cases that are still in progress could also limit the scope of what is considered patentable in the first place, says Mark Lemley, a law professor at Stanford University.