New FTC report recommends 35 ways to improve IP value

BVWireIssue #107-1
August 3, 2011

The FTC, better known for its anti-trust and consumer protection oversight than IP matters, issued a new report: “The Evolving IP Market Place: Aligning Patent Notice and Remedies with Competition.” The report focuses on how well the patent system and competition policy could work together if there were:

  • More clearly defined patent rights and notice. Unclear patent notice undermines discovery of, and investment in, emerging IP. Competition is weakened as businesses are forced to design products with incomplete knowledge of costs and other potentially relevant technologies.
  • Patent remedies that replicate the reward the patent holder would have earned absent infringement. Effective remedies that boost the patent system’s incentives to innovate are essential, according to the report. The FTC wants remedies (such as injunctions and compensatory damages) to stop and/or deter infringement, thus protecting a patentee’s ability to earn returns. On the other hand, remedies that under- or over-compensate patentees for infringement, as compared to the market, can adversely affect innovation and competition.

Those wishing to wade through all 300+ pages will find 35 recommendations directed to Congress, the USPTO, and the courts.

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