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Stanford law professor discusses the current state of intellectual property

Stanford law professor discusses the current state of intellectual property

Stanford law professor Mark Lemley explains why the Supreme Court’s recent ‘Alice’ decision (Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International) is a sea change for patent claims. Lemley is an expert on patent, trade-secret, antitrust, and constitutional law matters and one of the true thought leaders in the field of intellectual property.


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5 Comments - Leave a Comment
  • David Leach -

    I think it's a little reckless to insinuate that the patent system in general may, in fact, be stifling innovation.  That is probably the case on the computer side of technology, but not so much in other areas, such as mechanical structures and systems.  Computer related patents are very much a challenge for many reasons, one of which being that a single tool, like a processor, can perform a seemingly infinite amount of functions.

  • Don McCleve -

    Excellent condensing of a challenging problem.  "Alice" decision that an abstract idea not be patentable unless accompanied with an inventive solution is critical.  Excellent example is Philo Farnsworth's patent application for all electronic television in 1927 with patent cleanly granted in 1930 was contested by RCA whose employee Vladimir Zworykin had abstractly visualized an all electronic system and submitted patent application in 1923.   But Zworykin didn't have a working electronic camera until he spent 3 days in 1931 at Farnsworth's lab in San Francisco.  Trusting his granted patent to protect him and hoping for RCA to license his invention Farnsworth showed Zworykin the details.  RCA filed for patent two weeks after that.. RCA sued but Farnsworth prevailed every lawsuit and RCA was eventually forced to pay Farnsworth one $1,000,000..  Farnsworth has been honored in Akron's "Hall of Inventors" for decades and in 2013 was placed in the American Academy of Television's "Hall of Fame" who wrote Farnsworth "beat everyone to the punch".  Yet Zworykin is widely being pushed as the inventor for his 1923 conceptual patent application which was not granted until 1938.      (Stanford 1953, MD '56).

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