Barney Cassidy on Non-Practicing Entities


Barney J. Cassidy, General Counsel and Executive VP of Tessera, Inc. as well as PLI faculty member, recently had an op-ed article published on The article, entitled, “Shooting a patent straw man,” challenges the notion that patent trolls and their readiness to litigate is at the root behind the recent surge of patent portfolio growth among the major tech companies.

Cassidy argues that the tech companies are bulking up their patent portfolios to use against each other, not as a defense mechanism against non-practicing entities. He notes that the first ever patent recipients were non-practicing entities who were encouraged by the country’s founding fathers to help support national innovation. Cassidy points out that there are non-practicing entities, like entrepreneurial startups and universities, that account for major innovation and promote growth.

Here is a brief excerpt from, “Shooting a patent straw man.” To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Independent inventors may now play a less prominent role in U.S. innovation than during the Industrial Revolution. But entrepreneurial startups and universities — many of whom do not make or sell products — still continue to account for many major U.S. breakthrough innovations. Indeed, every major new industry of the postwar era — from semiconductors and personal computers to biotech and e-commerce — was launched by a startup.

What’s more, the shift of U.S. manufacturing to low-wage countries in Asia over the last three decades has only increased the separation between invention and commercialization in key sectors of the economy. As a result, companies like my employer, which spends $75 million a year, or 30 percent of revenues, on research and development, make a vital contribution to the U.S. economy by licensing breakthroughs — in our case, in semiconductor technology — to manufacturers overseas.

For more from Barney Cassidy, check out the “Implementing a Successful IP Monetization Program”segment from the IP Monetization 2012: Maximize the Value of Your IP Assets seminar in which he served as a panelist. 

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