A column on Law360.com by Wesley Whitmyer, a Connecticut attorney, argues that recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress could have the unintended consequence of killing patents.
“The exclusivity afforded patents has been progressively diminished to the point that patents are no longer property. They are ever-more expensive, but offer ever-fewer rights. If the trend continues, there will be a significant negative impact on the U.S. economy,” writes Whitmyer. He notes that 40 million jobs, or 28 percent of the U.S. workforce, depends heavily on intellectual property.
“The inability of any patent owner to obtain either an injunction or significant damages discourages innovation by permitting IP theft,” he writes. “Even more troubling is that the bigger a company is the more incentive it has to infringe — so long as it earns more money infringing than it spends to defend the unlawful activity, there is no economic incentive to stop.”