The Changing Face of US Patent Law and its Impact on Business Strategy

The Changing Face of US Patent Law and its Impact on Business Strategy

New Horizons in International Business series

Edited by Daniel R. Cahoy and Lynda J. Oswald

Within the complex global economy, patents function as indispensable tools for fostering and protecting innovation. This fascinating volume offers a comprehensive perspective on the US patent system, detailing its many uses and outlining several critical legislative, administrative and judicial reforms that impact business strategy.

Chapter 1: Coalition formation and battles to effect intellectual property policy change in the age of ACTA, AIA and the SHIELD Act

Robert E. Thomas and Cassandra Aceves

Subjects: business and management, international business


Until 2011, copyright interest holders (Creative Content) had been remarkably successful in enhancing copyright legal protection both internationally, through the negotiation of two treaties, the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), and domestically, through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Creative Content’s success is in marked contrast to the lack of success that patent interest holders have enjoyed during this period in effectuating favorable legislative change post-negotiation of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Agreement (TRIPS) in 1994. However, in 2011–12, these roles have reversed with patent interest holders enjoying the enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) and Creative Content being stymied in its effort to get the pro-Creative Content Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) adopted by an international alliance of nations. As of summer 2012, the moribund ACTA is on life support at best, whereas patent interests are looking to follow the successful enactment of the AIA with the unapologetically pro-technology-sector (High Tech) Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act (SHIELD Act). Indeed, it seems as if fortunes have changed.

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