Biotech or Business Process: Which Type Is Worth Patenting?

February 13 2010

Because we bring you compilations of gene-related patents and patent applications in the U.S. each month, the title and subtitle of the Feb. 5 2010 Economist article captured my attention: "Patent Nonsense; An End to Frivolous Patents May Be in Sight."

I, too, believe that most business process patents are extortionist (my word, NOT the Economist's), set up to extract unearned fees from those actually putting their art into practical, economic practice.

And I believe in "putting my money where my mouth is." A number of years ago I walked away from a good-paying client who wanted me to help develop a lawsuit strategy against a well-known innovator in the job listing market (as a consultant -- I'm not a lawyer).

The Economist article does point to biotech, pharma and semiconductors as areas warranting patent protection. Biotech and pharma patents could protect billions of dollars a year for blockbuster drugs, and the semiconductor industry routinely cross-licenses its technologies.

But others? Read this well-written and well-reasoned article (as is always the case with The Economist).

Category: Open to Debate
Filed under
: Patents/IP