Robert Merges

Pamela Samuelson and Robert Merges Find Patents Low Priority for Software Start-Ups

-San Francisco Chronicle, June 23, 2010 by Tom Abate

“More than 80 percent of the biotech, medical device and hardware firms we surveyed have or have applied for patents,” said study co-author Pamela Samuelson, a law professor at UC Berkeley. “About two-thirds of software firms have no patents and have not applied for any.”

Study co-author Robert Merges, a UC Berkeley law professor, said the next step in the research would be to establish how patents and other intellectual property strategies affected business outcomes and job creation.

-KCBS-AM, June 23, 2010 Host Patti Reising

“We didn’t know really how important intellectual property rights and in particular patents were to entrepreneurs. We thought they would be pretty important to biotech companies and less important to software companies—and we did find that. But the findings were more striking than we had expected because even biotech firms really only reported that patents were a moderate incentive to invest in innovation, whereas software companies said that patents were the least important among many strategies for attaining competitive advantage. And that was a surprising finding.”

-Patently-O Blog, June 29, 2010 by Ted Sichelman

In a recent survey of startup firms, the Berkeley Patent Survey—which I conducted with Robert Merges and Pamela Samuelson of UC Berkeley School of Law and Stuart Graham (now Chief Economist at the PTO)—startup executives reported that nearly 70% of venture capital firms and 50% of angel investors said that patents were important to their investment decisions.

Robert Merges Says Patent Auctions Protect Inventors, Quicken Innovation

The New York Times, September 20, 2009 by Steve Lohr

Any market mechanisms that speed up the process of figuring out what a patent is worth should hasten the flow of ideas into the economy, accelerating the pace of innovation, policy experts say. “What you want is a market that can promote innovation and reduce the huge costs of litigation,” said Robert P. Merges…. “And that market is starting to take shape.”

Robert Merges Proposes First Come, First Served Celestial Real Estate

The Boston Globe, May 18, by Drake Bennett

The extraterrestrial property regime envisioned by … Robert Merges … would have one key condition: A portion of the total available property would be set aside for a period of time to give developing nations a chance to catch up and to bid once they’d reached the point at which they were technologically and financially able.