Congressional Research Service report criticized as reflecting an anti-NPE bias

On September 5th IP Blog looked at Congress’s first look into the world of NPEs, or patent trolls. The article cited a Congressional Research Service report, a backgrounder that may have fueled one piece of proposed legislation (with passage highly unlikely) and theoretically furthered the discussion about the ultimate effect of NPEs on competition.

Jeff Wold in the Intellectual Asset Management Blog has called into question bias in the CRS report. The problem is CRS’s reliance and data and conclusions provided by Boston University professors James Bessen and Michael Meurer, data that has been questioned in several places.

For example, the methodology that Bessen and Meurer have used to reach their well-publicized conclusions about the competitive harm caused by NPEs met significant criticism from David Schwartz of Chicago-Kent College of Law and Jay Kesan of the University of Illinois College of Law in their paper,  Analyzing the Role of Non-Practicing Entities in the Patent System. Wold’s problem is that there is no reference to any of the criticism in the CRS report; rather there appears to be ipso facto acceptance of the Bessen/Meurer data, rendering the CRS study relatively useless.