Guest post: Reforming the patent system to better promote innovation

November 16, 2012 | Posted by Guest in Outsourcing Trends |

This is a guest post by Llewellyn Cox, Program Administrator for Research at the USC School of Pharmacy, and Founder of Research2.0. (full bio below).

One of the biggest barriers to market entry for a startup business, whether it is in biotech, software, or any other innovative industry, is dealing with the thorny issues of intellectual property (IP); securing licenses, negotiating with rights holders, and submitting and defending patents are expensive and time consuming activities that can undermine a startup’s financial position and create delays in getting critical early products to the market.

Why is this so? Robust protections for inventors have been recognized for centuries in Western economies, even so far as to be detailed in Article I of the original, unamended United States Constitution as a key responsibility of the newly-created Congress. However, the US patent system in the early 21st century is widely regarded as arcane and confusing, producing a considerable barrier to the commercialization of research discoveries, especially for entrepreneurial academic and independent scientists that may not benefit from the support of large, institutional tech transfer offices.

The enemy of reform is inertia, and this status quo is compounded by contradictory issues facing two of the most active areas of patent litigation: biotech and info tech. Read the rest of this entry »

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