This past winter, Julesgaard Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinic students developed “Hacking the Patent System: A Guide to Alternative Patent Licensing for Innovators.” Marta Belcher ’15 and John Casey ’15, in collaboration with our clients Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, and the Open Invention Network, researched, drafted and coordinated the guide, which is designed to help startups and innovators understand and consider using non-traditional approaches to patent licensing.
The goal of the U.S. patent system is to incentivize innovation, but there is growing public concern that the way the current system operates sometimes does more to hinder innovation than to promote it. “Hacking the Patent System” lays out three approaches to patent licenses that innovators can use to reduce the negative impact of the patent system on innovation: defensive patent aggregators, patent pledges, and Google’s License on Transfer Agreement. The guide identifies specific entities and licenses making use of each approach and explains the pros and cons associated with each. This May, our clients officially launched the guide, which will serve as a valuable tool for startups and tech companies as they learn about and consider using these alternative patent licensing structures.