TPP – Stronger IP Stance may not be a Bad Thing

As reported by tech dirt, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks failed to produce an agreement and treatment of IP is one of the big sticking points.  While many commentators feel that US is being somewhat unreasonable on its position on patents and copyrights, I have a slightly different opinion.

Our view on IP is not quite the same as the rest of the world, and our judicial system is particularly different than the rest of the world. To allow other judicial systems to invalidate a patent because they deem the patent as being used in anti-competitive or “trolling” ways may produce some unexpected results. I can think of no other country where civil litigation is as encouraged as here in the US… I’d imagine that what other countries consider “trolling” may be considered reasonable litigation here.

Stronger IP protection arguably better encourages investment in innovations. In a global market, industry leaders in the US would expect the same level of protection in other countries, or the risk would discourage, at least partially, the level of investment. I can tell you personally that I have seen a level of drop off in willingness to invest in software innovations due to the uncertainly of software patents after the Supreme Court’s Alice decision. That is a different story which I will comment on later.

Dafan Zhang

Dafan Zhang is the managing principal of Zhang Law PC. Known as the High Tech Counsel, Dafan's practice focuses on technology, intellectual property, startups, and litigation. Please visit for details about his practice.