22 Sep Quality counts.
In recent years there has been a paradigm shift within the intellectual property community which has seen the quality of patents (rightly) valued above quantity. It seems obvious when you state this, of course great quality patents which perform well and serve active purpose should be more valuable to a holder than a vast arsenal of poor patents, but this wasn’t (and sometimes still isn’t) always the case – Holders were once encouraged to hoover up patents senselessly in order to validate their portfolio by numbers.
So what does this change in approach mean for the health of patents?
Innovation has surged as a direct result of patent holders assessing the quality of their patents and centralising their IP around functioning operators – instead of maintaining a jumble of assets, holders have seen profitable benefits from employing a precise focus when acquiring IP. The IP industry as a whole both recognises, supports and endorses this kind of mindfulness amongst holders, in March of this year a two day ‘Patent Quality’ summit was held by the USPTO in Virginia U.S
”The Patent Quality Summit was a two-day event that took place March 25–26, 2015 for the public to provide their thoughts about patent quality to guarantee the most efficient prosecution and processes and to ensure the issuance of the highest quality patents. A significant portion of the Summit was devoted to brainstorming ideas to enhance patent quality.” – www.uspto.gov
This change in approach is clearly squeezing out opportunities for patent trolling and in doing so lends itself towards a future in IP where true innovation is both protected and allowed to grow. Without a risky portfolio absorbing holders means in the form of legal defence, naturally, a holder with quality patents frees oneself up to focus on more productive tasks. The red herring distractions associated with bulk absorption are counter productive to say the very least and initiatives such as the aforementioned ‘Patent Quality’ summit serve as a promising indicator for a fairer system.
Check out this great article on the subject by Marshall Phelps and Peter Vanderheyden: http://venturebeat.com/2015/05/04/patents-how-the-tech-industry-is-shifting-from-quantity-to-quality/