13 December 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Patent perception must shift, says Schecter

Public perception must shift if the US is to find feasible solutions to patent abuse, according to chief patent counsel at IBM Manny Schecter.

In a recent interview, Schecter said that some members of the public “get the impression that IP rights are inherently suspect”, based on abuses of the patent system.

But Schecter added that, “we just need to address the abuses”.

According to Schecter, public perception plays a big part of that. He explained: “It is important that all perspectives be understood so that the concerns be accurately identified and solutions be closely tailored to them.”

“So, we need to do a better job of ensuring the public understands that patents are a mechanism for ensuring fair play,” he said.

He concluded: “The patent system is complex, so the optimal state of balance is not always clear. We go through periods whereby adjustments to the system lead to it being too strong or too weak.”

“When abuses become apparent we need to make further adjustments. Adjustments should be narrowly tailored toward the abuses so as to optimise the promotion of innovation and minimise the abuses. The patent community has a responsibility to highlight the abuses so that our government make the necessary adjustments.”

Subscribe for free to read the latest issue of IPPro Patents, which includes our interview with Manny Schecter.

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