Shift Investment from Lawyers to Scientists


After Congress left for vacation earlier this month, President Obama granted Apple® a reprieve in its long running patent dispute with Samsung®. If I understand the situation correctly, Samsung® has accused Apple® of infringing on its standard essential patent related to connecting mobile devices to mobile networks. Apple® claims that Samsung® is violating an industry practice where the holders of standard essential patents license those technologies at “reasonable terms.”

The President’s veto means that the International Trade Commission (ITC) can’t block certain iPhone 4 and iPad 2 models from entering the United States, which helps Apple® sell its older, less expensive models.

This decision has relevance for all innovation-oriented companies. President Obama’s action is the first of its kind since 1987. As a result, the ITC may play a reduced role in complex patent arbitrations.

To some, the decision could seem like bad news for companies with ground breaking products. But my scientist friends and clients have long been saying that the ITC isn’t adequately prepared to deal with truly complex products and patent decisions. Since the ITC has too few options, they too often just ban imports because that is what they have authority to do. American companies and consumers lose.

Some important products have not been developed in recent years because competitors can just threaten to contact the ITC to force an import ban. When that happens, companies spend money on lawsuits and attorneys instead of innovation and scientists. Reversing that sounds good to me.

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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