Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report of its study of patent assertion entities (PAEs). The report was long anticipated and could have gone a long way to shining some light on patent licensing firms – who they are, how they operate, and so on. After all, patent licensing firms are misunderstood, partially because so much of their activity is not visible to the public. In theory, because the FTC has the power to obtain this invisible information, the study could have provided the data and insight needed to better understand these firms and improve the policy dialogue surround their behaviors. This PAE study had the potential to do a world of good…but unfortunately, the resulting report is likely to do more harm than good.
Kristen Osenga, The FTC’s PAE Study: Doing More Harm Than Good, IP Watchdog (Oct. 20, 2016), http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/10/20/ftcs-pae-study-harm/id=73997/.