U.S. Patent System Promoting Invention, Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and Job Creation
Earlier this month I accepted an invitation to attend The Sedona Conference in Washington DC addressing the US Patent System: Promoting Invention, Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and Job Creation. Co-chaired by Chief Judge Paul R. Michel (CAFC, ret.) and Robert Sterne (Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, PLLC), the event revealed a well-curated capacity crowd of senior IP professionals. As with all Sedona events, Chatham House Rules applied and the agenda was designed to facilitate constructive dialogue, not debate. A number of panels addressed the present inefficiencies in the U.S. patent system in an effort to develop consensus solutions that will benefit all shareholders. The day featured a Director’s Roundtable with Andrei Iancu (USPTO) and Dr. Walter Copan (NIST).
I enjoyed the panel discussions and found the networking especially valuable — with the opportunity to visit with many friends for which my interaction had been limited to annual greeting cards for far too long. That said, I think the one-day event was one day too short. The legal perspective was well presented but tended to dominate the conversation leaving too little discussion of the core business issues which are central to the topic.
The patent system does not, in my opinion, exist to simply issue patents. The patent system exists primarily to support economic development. Patents are a bargain with the government trading a limited monopoly right for public disclosure and education. Organizations such as Sedona, LES, AIPLA, and IPO would benefit their stakeholders through detailed dialog with financial regulators and influencers. My recommendation is to hold a “second day” inviting:
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Small Business Administration
- National Venture Capital Association
- NASDAQ, NYSE, CBOE, CME, ICE and other interested exchanges
- The Economic Clubs of several U.S. cities
- Other similar organizations and business first professional associations
Key topics for dialogue may include:
- Recording IP value on company financial statements in normal course (and ending the practicing of only recognizing a company’s most valuable assets if they are acquired by others)
- Creating standard terms and conditions for IP transactions
- Establishing efficient markets for trading IP assets
- Development of governmental incentives for patenting and licensing to assure the U.S. is at least comparable to other nations.
I made my interest in such a conference known at the reception following the Sedona event and repeat my offer to help.