How To Make The Patent System Even Worse: Make Patent Validity Incontestable
from the are-these-people-serious? dept
That would certainly suggest that it's not wise to consider a granted patent "valid."
In fact, that's much of what the current Microsoft v. i4i case -- which is on the Supreme Court docket -- is about. That lawsuit is to determine whether or not the standard used to judge patent validity is too high.
So it seems almost laughable, then, to hear a suggestion that things should move in the other direction. However, some of the patent systems loudest defenders are now proposing that patents should become incontestable after a period of five years, meaning that no one would be able to contest the validity of those patents, even if the evidence suggests the patent was granted in error. It's hard to fathom how this possibly makes sense. The only explanation given is that it would make patents more valuable -- as if they weren't valuable enough already. But, of course, that's laughable. It's based on either confusion about economics or the patent system itself. The point of the patent system is to "promote the progress." Focusing on making patents more valuable suggests these people believe the point of the patent system is to get more patents. But the two things are not the same. Making patents incontestable, especially in cases when a patent is not valid does not promote the progress. It does the opposite.