Examining the decline of low-end patents

The AIA has weakened low-end patents even further

Most low-end patents are worthless

A patent defines a piece of intellectual property. As with a parcel of land, the patent’s owner can legally prevent any trespass (called an infringement) on the patent. Accordingly, analogous to the size of a parcel of land, the size of a patent (usually referred to as its scope) is critical in determining its value. The term low-end generally connotes a low-cost product with corresponding low quality. In the context of patents, however, where even slight mistakes, omissions or carelessness can mean the difference between a patent worth millions and a worthless piece of paper, low-end patents, prepared and prosecuted in haste with little attention to detail often have no value at all. Moreover, recent changes in the technical, legal and competitive landscape have drained most of the limited value they had.

Contributing Author

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David Rogers

David Rogers is a partner in the law offices of Snell & Wilmer and practices patent, trademark and unfair competition law including litigation; trademark oppositions,...

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