The Smartphone Wars and “Patent Trolls”

by | Jun 20, 2017 | Intellectual Property

There are widespread complaints today that the “patent system is broken” and that the “smartphone wars” and “patent trolls” are killing innovation. Yet patented innovation has revolutionized our lives today—tablet computers, smartphones and antiviral drugs are just a few of these modern marvels. How to make sense of this contradiction?

There are widespread complaints today that the “patent system is broken” and that the “smartphone wars” and “patent trolls” are killing innovation. Yet patented innovation has revolutionized our lives today—tablet computers, smartphones and antiviral drugs are just a few of these modern marvels. How to make sense of this contradiction? This talk by law professor Adam Mossoff answers this question and highlights how objectivity in one’s life requires both knowing the right facts and using a rational method in thinking about these facts.

Recorded live on June 29, 2014, at Objectivist Summer Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Made available by The Ayn Rand Institute.

1 Comment

  1. The problem is not “patent trolls” (or non-practicing entities). The problem is unmeritorious suits that are hold-ups based on the legal process costs of defending. The solution to that problem is loser pays, not curtailing the rights of patent holders who are not practicing their inventions.

    A loser pays tort system generally, and patent litigation system in particular, would cause unmeritorious plaintiffs to pay the high costs that they imposed on defendants for an unsuccessful case. Then many of the nuisance suits based on exploiting the high defense costs for certain types of cases would disappear.

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Mr. Mossoff is a professor of law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Adam Mossoff is Visiting Intellectual Property Fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, a Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University, and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. His scholarship has been relied on by the Supreme Court, by federal courts, and by federal agencies, and he has been invited numerous times to testify before the Senate and the House of Representatives on proposed intellectual property legislation.

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