Mark Cuban was spot-on during Friday nite’s Shark Tank episode with his opinion of the US Patent system. Mark went ballistic when one of the entrepreneurs said he had received a patent for running a wire thru a shirt to help people listen to online music more easily. This entrepreneur (a former lawyer who is married to a lawyer) then used his patent to go after 11 companies for patent infringement. He had received some kind of a settlement or royalty from each of them.
Here are my thoughts on the US Patent mess. The following are excerpts from “Unlocking Your Entrepreneurial Potential”……
The patent system in the United States is making some attorneys rich. It is stifling innovation and hurting small business. The system is out of control. I learned this from firsthand experience when my partner Laurene testified as a witness in a federal patent-infringement case in Richmond, Va.
As much as it pains me to say this, anyone starting a business involved in technology, invention, or innovation needs to see a patent attorney before start-up. Patent-infringement cases are simply too expensive to deal with, either as a defendant or a plaintiff (or even as a witness).
President Obama recently tried to fix the US Patent system and in so doing, made it worse for entrepreneurs. The system is now based on a “First to File” approach (versus who really came up with the idea first). This favors large companies with lots of Intellectual Property lawyers who have the time and expertise to write and file patents all day long.
These regulations are very costly and counterproductive. It clearly is hurting entrepreneurial innovation in our country.