Dissenting State Patent Regimes
IP Theory, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 78-97, 2013
20 Pages Posted: 3 May 2013 Last revised: 26 Dec 2014
Date Written: May 1, 2013
Inventors who believe in open innovation should start applying for state patents instead of U.S. patents. Patenting at the state level prevents rivals from obtaining U.S. patents and generates valuable innovation spillovers in other states where the patent has no legal effect. It also creates a unique opportunity to force patent law reform from the bottom up. In exchange for filing fees, inventors can demand patents based on rules that support open innovation, like shorter terms in fast-moving industries, stricter disclosure requirements, or new restrictions on patenting by non-practicing entities. The lobbyists who stymie reform at the national level will have a much harder time blocking reform in all fifty states. Meanwhile, patent law’s dissenters need only one state to start granting patents in order to get courts, the media, and eventually Congress to pay attention.
Keywords: patents, state patents, federalism, dissenting by deciding
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