Private property ownership is a basic underpinning of the United States; our forefathers believed strongly enough to enshrine intellectual property ownership in our Constitution at the nation’s founding. This has served us well – the United States clearly leads the world in innovation (as evidenced by patent filings). It is not coincidence that patent filing ranking by country almost exactly matches GDP.
Patent ownership has become very visibly lately with the $4 billion acquisition of Nortel’s patent portfolio; the $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola; Google’s acquisition of 1,023 patents from IBM; and today’s scheduled court appearance of Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Google’s Larry Page to discuss Google’s alleged infringement of Oracle-owned java patents.
All of this recent activity – all within the last nine months – is centered on mobility, tablets and smart phones. There are some very powerful minds, and very deep pockets, focused on long-term value created by intellectual property. Much of this activity is centered in one specific area. It is safe to assume this will be an economic battleground, not only for individuals and companies, but for countries as well.
Let us just hope the bill accomplishes what it is intended to do – protect the rights of inventors and make it easier to be granted intellectual property ownership. Our economic welfare may depend on it.