Nature editorial blasts university relationships with patent trolls

“University technology transfer offices are tasked with helping bring the inventions made by academics to the attention of potential investors. But selling off intellectual property to patent aggregators in an effort to bring in money to their institutions could stifle the future development of new technologies.

[…] These are companies that buy or license and aggregate large numbers of patents with the stated goal of helping to develop those inventions so they can be more easily brought to market. But, troublingly, PAEs have also extensively used those patents to sue companies that may be infringing on the intellectual property—last year, over 100,000 companies were targeted with lawsuits by PAEs. As engines of new ideas, universities have vast patent holdings that they need to develop and monetize; some of these institutions are turning to PAEs to serve as a new revenue stream.”

Nature 2013


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