The 2018 FTC Hearings on IP & Innovation: Key Testimony, Economic Learnings, and Recommendations for Further Study
ABA Antitrust Magazine (Spring 2019)
7 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2018 Last revised: 26 Apr 2019
Date Written: November 8, 2018
This Article provides a summary of some of the key testimony from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s October 23-24, 2018 hearings on intellectual property (IP) and innovation, followed by insights from the economics literature and recommendations for future study. Covered topics include: the role and importance of IP rights in promoting innovation; the role of IP in business and investment decisions, including data on recent investment trends; and effects of recent patent law reforms, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions restricting patent eligible subject matter (2012 Mayo and 2014 Alice decisions) and weakening patentees’ ability to obtain injunctive relief (2006 eBay decision); the high invalidity rate of patents following the 2011 American Invents Act and its creation of post-grant challenges through the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB); and the general trend towards lower patent damages awards. Key testimony covered includes remarks by the Commissioner for Patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Acting Chief Judge of the PTAB, investors and other industry participants, and leading academics.
Keywords: Federal Trade Commission, FTC, Intellectual Property, IP, Innovation, Investment, Patent Eligible Subject Matter, Section 101, Patent Quality, Injunctions, eBay, Patent Damages, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, PTAB, Empirical Evidence, Inverted-U
JEL Classification: K21, l4, I5, O30, O31, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation