More good sense (sub. req.) on intellectual property from Profs. Adam Jaffe and Josh Lerner. They offer more examples of frivilous patents…

“such absurdities as patents on wristwatches (paw-watches?) for dogs, a method of swinging on a swing (“invented” by a five-year-old), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…[and]…broad ideas related to mobile email — virtually devoid of any details of implementation — that have imposed a $612 million tax on the maker and users of BlackBerries.”

…Then Jaffe and Lerner offer simple, structural solutions to correct most of the system’s worse offenses:

“(1) changing the USPTO review process so that the determination of whether a patent application is really new is made with as much information as practical about what related technology is already out there; and (2) leveling the playing field between litigants so frivolous patent holders cannot intimidate true innovators into paying protection money.”

-Bret Swanson