Peter Detkin on the New Patent Market

DetkinPeter Detkin is Intel’s former director of patents, licensing, and litigation who coined the term patent troll. More recently, Detkin co-founded Intellectual Ventures. IV’s product is intellectual property and IP licenses. The company buys patents from small companies and individual inventors and also files patents on its own inventions.

Detkin has an interesting new article in John Marshall’s RIPL journal titled “Leveling the Patent Playingfield.” In the article, Detkin does a great job of explaining IV’s role in the process.

Normally small players have great difficulty simply avoiding being marginalized by major players.  One part of IV’s business is to aggregate the patent rights held by small players and then use its newfound size and power to license those portfolios.

Although IV’s purpose is clearly to make money, he also sees the results as helping the little guy:

“By matching patent owners with patent users, this market may enable small inventors to have a greater stake in their technological efforts.”

The article is an interesting and quick read (especially for a law review).

12 thoughts on “Peter Detkin on the New Patent Market

  1. Detkin was the first patent lawyer hired in my group, albeit a few yers before I got here. Thus, I am a bit biased, but at least I am able to admit it. He is a good writer!

  2. As a now retired patent guy with 30+ years of licensing experience, I’m amazed that JM would give this garbage,self-serving article the space.What shallow stuff it is.

  3. “Who is this “small inventor” anyway? It really needs to be asked whether the myth of the small inventor has grown out of proportion to the actual contributions of small inventors themselves. What present-day technologies would humanity simply be without if not for their unique contributions?”

    I personally worked for a small inventor that had patents in the area of vapor deposition techniques. Without the backing of a troll he would not have been able to license any of his IP.

    Also, the inventor of the cardiac stent was a small inventor that made the first model of the stent from parts he purchased from radio shack. He of course could never practice the invention himself, but J&J could.

    There is also an article in one of the trade journals that tells us that P&Gs innovations as well as that of many of the mega companies come from small inventors.

    As hard as it is to believe for some, small inventors have played a huge role in innovation and will continue to do so in the future. Unless of course the incentive for doing so goes away, i.e., the funding to assert IP rights.

  4. Crouch states: “Although IV’s purpose is clearly to make money, [Detkin] also sees the results as helping the little guy”

    Not quite. Detkin is too experienced to think in such simplistic terms.

    Detkin probably sees IV as becoming another major player that “helps” inventors in a different manner relative to the practices of existing major players. Those who do not consent to the “helpful” ways of existing major players may wish to consent to IV’s type of “help.”

  5. To the unknown patent lawyer – Use these definitions…:)

    “Small Inventor” means A person who cannot afford a patent litigation with a large corporation absent some help from a “patent troll”

    “Patent troll” means An entity (usually non-practicing) who finances Small Inventors litigation for a piece of any damage award much to the dismay of Large Corporation.

    “Large Corporation” means An entity who did not want to listen to Small Inventors good faith attempt to license his or her technology and decided to make, sell, or use, the claimed invention without Small Inventors consent.

  6. Who is this “small inventor” anyway? It really needs to be asked whether the myth of the small inventor has grown out of proportion to the actual contributions of small inventors themselves. What present-day technologies would humanity simply be without if not for their unique contributions?

    I’m not saying that there aren’t legitimate small inventors out there who have something real to contribute and require the law to provide a level playing field. But “the small inventor” has become a canard that is used to legitimize much of what is wrong with the patent system, and this needs to be challenged.

  7. This article protests too much. He is trying to turn IV’s image of a troll around.

    Detkin was never a firm believer in what’s good for me is good for you and vice versa.

  8. If the justification for patent trolls are that the small inventor will get beaten up by the big bad infringer, why is the small inventor not similarly going to get beat up by the big bad patent troll?

  9. I just read the article…Pretty good BTW.

    However, this business model already exists, it is called Patent Litigation on a contigency fee.

  10. Does IV practice its inventions?

    WOW! This guy is a patent troll.

    Funny how things change, when your not sitting in a corporate office

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