WSJ: Critics Take Aim at California’s Patent Shield
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Started by: zoobabzoobab
Date: 14 Nov 2007 13:27
Number of posts: 1
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The University of California is a major patent player. It receives by far more patents from the U.S. PTO than any school in the country. It’s generated about $500 million in patent royalties and fee income in the past five years. It also aggressively uses the courts. As a plaintiff alleging patent infringement, the school has settled a claim against Genentech for $200 million, secured a payment of $185 million from Monsanto, and won a $30 million settlement from Microsoft. Yet, when it comes to getting sued for patent infringement, the university, as well as the state of California, are Teflon. The legal doctrine of sovereign immunity protects states and state institutions from legal liability. Courts have held that participating in the federal patent system doesn’t cost a state its immunity. The upshot — states can sue, but effectively can’t be sued. Here’s the WSJ story.
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