The Strength of the American Patent System

Engine has released a new booklet that outlines why the strength of the patent system is so important for startups.

Congress, the courts, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office have made key changes to our patent system in the past five years which have led to a rise in patenting activity as well as startup growth, R&D, and venture capital investment. However, the patent policy debate continues in Washington, so it is important to understand the fundamentals of patent law and its impact on innovation.

In this booklet we explain the basics of what a patent is and how the patent system functions. We detail the abusive patent litigation problem and its impact on startups. Then we examine two important policy issues that have improved patent quality. First, we provide an in-depth analysis of Section 101 of the Patent Act and the Supreme Court cases that have helped clarify what is patentable and what is not. Next, we look at how patents are reviewed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the mechanisms used by the office to remove patents that should not have been granted in the first place. Finally, we look forward to the current patent debate and which policies will impact startups.

Read the full booklet here.