September 20, 2020

Volume X, Number 264

September 18, 2020

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Venture Capital Investment in Patent-Intensive Industries Falling

Are We Really Encouraging Innovation?

The race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine illustrates how vital scientific innovation is to our entire society – and also how arduous and uncertain scientific research can be. Scientific ventures are massive undertakings. For organizations to undertake such pursuits, there needs to be a reasonable expectation of a return on investment. This stance is not money-grubbing. A return on investment is necessary to enable the massive expenditures that go into developing lifechanging innovations.

In many cases, patents are necessary in order to protect this return on investment. Yet as a new report from the Alliance of U.S. Startups and Inventors for Jobs describes, U.S. legal and judicial systems have made changes to the patent system – and venture capital investment in patent-intensive industries has fallen.

Perhaps now is the time to examine this legal and judicial environment. Does our system really encourage the innovation that can change so many lives? The coronavirus is massive enough that governments have undertaken action to incent work to combat this virus, and rightfully so. But what about other needs and medical issues that do not receive as much urgent attention? Is our system set up to encourage innovation to combat other problems? What needs to change in the U.S. patent system so that more investors will turn to patent-intensive industries?

© 2020 Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 217


About this Author

Steven Lundberg, Schwegman Lundberg Law Firm, IP Attorney

Steven Lundberg is a registered patent attorney and a founding partner of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner. His practice is focused on patent protection for software, medical and telecommunications technology, and related opinion and licensing matters. Steve received his B.S.E.E. in 1978 from the University of Minnesota, and his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., 1982). He has published and spoken widely on software and electronic patent protection, is active in the Computer and Electronics Committee of the American Intellectual...