More On

IP: New weapons in the war against bad patents

New patent reforms in the America Invents Act provide procedures for third parties to attack unfounded claims both before and after issuance of a patent

For more than a decade, the business community has searched for ways to defend against bad patents—those that the Patent Office mistakenly grants (with a presumption of validity) because it is unaware of information or arguments that, if known, would have prevented the patent from issuing. The problem of bad patents is especially pervasive in industries such as financial services, software and information technology, in which much early innovation is not documented in the Patent Office’s search files.

Armed with bad patents, patent owners, including so-called non-practicing entities (NPEs) have built a cottage industry of extracting rich settlements from accused “infringers” wary of the cost and uncertainty of district court litigation. Regardless of merit, those facing infringement allegations might choose to pay NPEs’ significant “nuisance” settlements rather than incur an even greater cost of litigation.

Contributing Author

author image

Michael Bednarek

Michael Bednarek is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP and a member of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association....

Bio and more articles

Contributing Author

author image

Walter Davis

Walter Davis practices in the Washington, DC office of Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP, specializing in intellectual property litigation and advising clients on global patent...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.