Let's Use Patent Fees to Stop the Trolls

Brian J. Love

Santa Clara University School of Law

December 20, 2012

Op-Ed, Wired.com, December 20, 2012

As mundane as it may sound, patent fees may be the simplest way to eliminate suspect software patents and stop trolls. The US PTO's most recent proposal to modify patent fees, likely to take effect early next year, is the first change to the agency’s fee structure since recent patent reform legislation granted the agency power to set its own fees. But changes to patent fees could – and should – go much further. According to the agency’s own interpretation of the law, the PTO now has “flexibility to set individual fees in a way that furthers key policy considerations.” What could the agency accomplish using fees? For one, it could eliminate a large portion of suits filed by trolls – especially those asserting software patents. This approach would involve only modest changes to the number and magnitude of patent renewal or “maintenance” fees. Here's how.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 4

Keywords: PTO fees, maintenance fees, patent troll, NPE, patent term, America Invents Act, software patent

JEL Classification: O34, K00

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Date posted: November 14, 2012 ; Last revised: March 12, 2013

Suggested Citation

Love, Brian J., Let's Use Patent Fees to Stop the Trolls (December 20, 2012). Op-Ed, Wired.com, December 20, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2175870 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2175870

Contact Information

Brian J. Love (Contact Author)
Santa Clara University School of Law ( email )
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
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