Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office too often grants patents that are overly broad or cover well-established common practices–thwarting innovation and imposing high costs on would-be competitors. So says Dan Ravicher, founder of the New York City-based Public Patent Foundation, who challenges patents by asking the patent office to narrow claims. Here’s where three of his highest-profile fights of 2006 stand.

Patent

Ravicher’s peeve

Update

Embryonic stem cells

Wisconsin Alumni Research

Foundation (WARF), Madison, WI

WARF charges high royalties to biomedical companies.

In October, the patent office agreed to reëxamine the patents.

Data compression method

Forgent Networks, Austin, TX

Forgent is suing major software companies for substantial royalties for using the JPEG photo standard.

In May, the patent office rejected 19 of the patent’s 46 claims.

File sharing between different operating systems

Microsoft, Redmond, WA

The patent makes it difficult for alternative operating systems to work with Windows.

In January, the patent office let an altered version of the patent stand.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Business

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

Eli Kintisch Guest Contributor

View Profile »

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me