Bad patents are considered those that are a minor variation that anyone could come up with, an abstract of a good patent, or an idea that isn't new. A bad patent can also have a poor explanation, making it impossible to understand what the patent covers.

Requirements and Bad Patents

Requirements, issued by Congress, are in place for obtaining a patent. When an applicant meets those requirements, a patent is granted. So, how can there be any bad patents? This could be because the law is lacking or because the patent office is not adhering to the requirements when granting questionable patents.

Disadvantages of Bad Patents

A few reasons why bad patents create bad situations include:

  • Bad patents can lead to the stunted development of new products.
  • Bad patents make it more difficult for small businesses to succeed.
  • Good patents are worth the cost and lead to the creation of new ideas, while bad patents are costly with little to no positive results.
  • Old, obvious, and abstract ideas or those that make no sense do not promote progress. They are no more than a costly legal instrument that provides nothing in return.
  • For business owners, a vaguely constructed patent means it can be more difficult to realize the risk your business is being subjected to.

Bad patents can have negative effects on patent owners since it costs money to be granted a patent and even more if it's necessary to investigate if a patent is valid. In some cases, money is spent only to have it determined that the patent is invalid.

The best solution is preventing invalid patents from being issued in the first place.

The United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is responsible for conducting trials and reviews and rendering decisions. In many cases, the decision by the PTAB may not be in agreement with the division that examined the patent or the court. This can lead to confusion about whether a patent is good or bad.

Unfortunately, with a cloud of confusion lying over patents, confidence in the patent system has taken a hit. This is not beneficial, and those with patents who have followed the law are asking that Congress not take sides with users of inventions who do not like the patent law. It is important that if it is found there are bad patents and that these patents are affecting American business negatively, then they must be investigated and handled accordingly.

Patent Infringers

In the world of patents, it is unfortunate that those who infringe on patents assert that every patent is bad. For example, inventors and their licensors, such as Tom Lanni, Alex Severinsky, Roman Chistyakov, and others followed the letter of the law when submitting their idea, and the patent office followed the law when granting their patents. Infringers, which often include big-name companies and corporations, feel they are bad patents.

When legitimate inventors are labeled as "trolls" by infringers of big companies and the individuals and other companies that support them, the legitimate inventors have a more difficult time regarding laws and policies. A recurring theme is one that states bad patents are inventions that big corporations are most interested in pursuing without the owner's consent.

Protecting Patent Owners

The purpose of the patent system is to stimulate the creative ideas, even if the ideas are risky, of visionaries who hope to discover new solutions to old and existing problems. To protect these individuals, the integrity of granting patents must be maintained by following the laws. When issues or alleged problems arise, it is important that they are diagnosed correctly and legislation created to target the cause.

Digging deeper into the statistics alleging that bad patents are harming businesses is being urged. In many instances, the alleged complaints do not hold up when scrutinized.

It seems that the current environment for patent owners is hostile. This means enforcing a genuinely bad patent is not the norm, and those few who attempt to enforce bad patents are few and far between and do not pose a problem for businesses. In these cases, termination on summary judgment is quick. Lastly, it should be understood that inventors and their licensors that follow the laws set forth by Congress to obtain a patent are not the sources of bad patents.

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