Patent Auctions Offer Protections to Inventors

The New York Times


“What you want is a market that can promote innovation and reduce the huge costs of litigation,” said Robert P. Merges, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. “And that market is starting to take shape.”

A classic small-inventor firm, Zoltar Satellite Alarm Systems, is planning to sample that market by auctioning off its patents next month. Professor Merges and other patent experts point to it as an intriguing case to watch.


Whether the patents will prove to be a hot property is not clear. “They were certainly innovative over the years, but I do think there is a question here if the industry and technology has passed them by,” said Professor Merges of Berkeley.