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The Patent Pollution Problem: Its Causes, Effects and Solutions

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Published on Apr 27, 2012

Google Tech Talk
April 26, 2012

Presented by Daniel B. Ravicher

ABSTRACT

America's patent system dates back to the founding of our nation when it was expressly included in the Constitution. To be sure, a patent system can provide many great benefits to society. However, patents also pose a great threat to society because the issuance of a patent makes it illegal for any American to do whatever is claimed by the patent. Thus, it is critically important to the success of our patent system that it maintain high patent quality and ensures only deserving patents are issued.

Unfortunately, the American patent system today is suffering from extremely low patent quality. Every Tuesday the Patent Office issues 4,000 patents after spending on average less than a couple days in reviewing the merits of each patent application. When asked to reconsider the merits of patents it previously issued, the Patent Office concedes that the vast majority of them have questionable validity. When patents end up in court as a result of patent owners suing alleged infringers, a large percentage of the time those asserted patents are found to have been improperly granted. The result is a polluted patent system littered with trash patents that impede technological development.

In this Google Tech Talk, Prof. Daniel B. Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of law will explain why patent quality is so low in America today, describe in detail the ways in which low patent quality is harming Americans, and propose mechanisms for solving the low patent quality problem.

Speaker: Daniel B. Ravicher
Daniel B. Ravicher is Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT") and a Lecturer in Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Labeled a modern day 'Robin Hood' by Science magazine, and awarded an Echoing Green Fellowship for social entrepreneurship, Professor Ravicher is a registered patent attorney who writes and speaks frequently on patent law and policy, including twice testifying as an invited witness before Congress on the topic of patent reform. As a result of his accomplishments and professional reputation, Professor Ravicher was named to both Managing Intellectual Property magazine's '50 Most Influential People in IP' list and IP Law & Business magazine's 'Top 50 Under 45' list. Professor Ravicher received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the Franklin O'Blechman Scholar of his class, a Mortimer Caplin Public Service Award recipient and an Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, and his bachelors degree in materials science magna cum laude with University Honors from the University of South Florida. Professor Ravicher writes about patent policy issues for the Huffington Post and patent related corporate valuation issues for Seeking Alpha. He is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals for the Federal, 2nd and 11th Circuits, the District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the State of New York, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

This talk was hosted by Boris Debic.

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