This post was first published on July 18, 2014.
After studying citations from patents that were invalidated by US Judges, researchers from the London School of Economics commented, “Patent invalidation has a significant impact on cumulative innovation in the fields of computers and communications, electronics and medical instruments (including biotechnology). We find no such effect in fields involving drugs, chemicals or mechanical technologies.” Let us now take a look at why this discrepancy exists.
What is patent invalidation?
The Patents Act outlines circumstances under which a granted patent can be revoked on certain grounds.
Who is affected by this and how has this come to be?
Start-ups seem especially vulnerable to bad patent policy because they may not have the legal or the economic negotiating power to deal with big business. The researchers commented that when large patentees are involved, bargaining breakdown occurs and small ﬁrms are normally less capable of resolving disputes cooperatively, without resorting to the involvement of courts.