Mossoff in Forbes: Facts, Not Rhetoric, in Patent Debate

As the FTC and DOJ hold workshops on the patent system and innovation, Professor Adam Mossoff's hope is that rhetoric will give way to an investigation of "how the patent system produces dynamic innovation, not just in products and services, but also in the many new business models that arise from the patented innovation itself."

"Our patent system has long ensured that inventors are rewarded for their productive labors, and that investors and firms are rewarded for their labors in taking inventions from the laboratory or garage, and converting them into innovative products and services used by consumers," says Mossoff in an op-ed appearing in Forbes magazine. "The patent system has thus provided the basic framework for a culture of scientific advancement and commercial innovation that cuts across all industries, making our 'invention economy' the most formidable in the world."

Substantial changes to the patent system, Mossoff fears, would be a grave mistake. 

Mossoff calls for a thorough evaluation of "the historic impact the patent system has had on innovations without the negative hype and misinformation that is perpetuated in news headlines or blogs."

Policy Debates On Patents Should Focus On Facts, Not Rhetoric, Forbes, December 18, 2012. By Adam Mossoff.

"It is important not to rush to judgment based on emotionally-charged headlines about patent lawsuits or misleading articles and blog postings that get wrong even basic facts about the patent system. The prudent approach is to research the issues fully. For instance, few people realize that today’s 'patent wars,' which involve many so-called PAEs, have been occurring since the invention and patenting of the sewing machine in early nineteenth century. They occurred with the invention of the telephone, the automobile, the radio, the airplane, medical stents, and even disposable diapers. Many of these patent wars were accompanied by the same end-of-days proclamations that we now hear about the 'smart phone wars.' Yet, through it all, the patent system has produced innovation, and we all live incredible lives as a result of today’s patented high-tech and medical marvels."

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