I’ve heard that nostalgia peaks about every 20 years, meaning that about now we should all be feeling warm and fuzzy over fond memories of the 1990s. Makes sense, I guess. After all, the '90s brought us the World Wide Web. And MP3 players. A revival of sorts in music and art. And a housing boom of Biblical proportions. Prosperity abounded. But then what happed? After a few years, the new millennium ushered in one of the worse blows to the global economy in history. Housing markets crashed. People lost jobs. People, businesses, even countries, faced bankruptcy. Miley Cyrus entered pop culture.
While admittedly less dramatic, a similar type of cyclical effect appears in the world of intellectual property. My patent practice began in 1998. The policies in place at the Patent Office, the jurisprudence, and even the vibe around the office then matched that of the general goings-on in the world. Companies had money to spend. Loosely defined inventions were getting patents. Life was good for patent owners.