Patent reform has major impact on businesses
In recent years, real estate startups, technology companies that serve the real estate industry, Realtor associations and MLSs have been subjected to lawsuits claiming patent infringement, many of which have bled the real estate industry and dues paying members of millions of dollars. AGBeat has long advocated against patent trolling as it retards innovation at all levels, especially in an industry struggling to remain relevant.
President Obama has signed into law major patent reforms in the “America Invests Act.” According to the National Association of Realtors, the Act is divided into three parts, “First, it aims to keep the U.S. patent system attractive to global companies by aligning its processes with other countries’ processes. Second, it tries to align funding for the U.S. Patent Office with its needs by modifying its fee system. And third, it aims to raise the bar on the quality of the patents so only the most appropriate patent infringement lawsuits are filed.”
The third part of the act seeks to stunt patent trolling and promotes innovation as it disallows generic patents such as “real estate search” which is so broad it leaves vulnerable any company or person creating, designing or using these technologies.
The patent system in America has been desperately in need of an overhaul for decades, and although the implications of these reforms will not be seen or felt for some time, it is a much needed reform that could open the gates for innovators who have sat on the sidelines in fear.
In the above video, AGBeat columnist and NAR Senior Legislative Analyst Melanie Wyne discusses the law and its real estate implications.