Patent reform: Did Jimmy Carter create a legal mess for innovators?

In his Wall Street Journal column “The Information Age,” L. Gordon Crovitz argues that today’s patent litigation woes can be traced to President Jimmy Carter’s push to create the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Rather than stimulate the economy, the court boosted the fortunes of patent attorneys and companies that collected intellectual property rights.

“Patent trolls buy up vague software patents and demand legal settlements from technology companies,” Crovitz writes. “Instead of encouraging innovation, patent law has become a burden on entrepreneurs, especially startups without teams of patent lawyers.”

He presents his view on where the problems lie and what he calls “the best prospect for reform.” Hint: It involves nine, not 535 people. Read his column here.

Is Crovitz correct in his analysis? Or, where has he gone wrong, too?

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