As the Obama administration and U.S. lawmakers look to rein in the patent-assertion entities often called "patent trolls," Nathan Myhrvold, the chief executive officer of Intellectual Ventures Management, told a standing-room-only crowd on Capitol Hill Thursday that the U.S. government should proceed carefully on any intellectual property reform.
Myhrvold, who helped found the patent holding company that his critics call one of the largest patent trolls in the U.S., said the implementation of the 2011 patent reform law, the America Invents Act, has only just begun, making further changes to the patent system premature. He said policymakers should be leery of lobbyists who say there are "miscreants who are doing awful, terrible things" in an effort to secure tweaks to the statute.
"I think there is a lot of misinformation," Myhrvold said as members of the audience ate box lunches provided for the discussion. "A fundamental issue if you work here in Washington, D.C., is to make sure the baby doesn't get thrown out with the bathwater, that the unintended consequences of what sounds really good doesn't wind up biting you again."