Patent Insurance: Towards a More Affordable, Mandatory Scheme?

by J. Rodrigo Fuentes

10 Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 267 (2009) (Published May 15, 2009)


Even though businesses insure against myriad risks, patent litigation is often excluded from their general commercial liability insurance policy. Companies understand that patent litigation is an expensive ordeal, and some opt for specialized patent insurance. However, most businesses do not carry such protection because it is too costly. This is unfortunate because some studies suggest that patent insurance fosters research and development among small-to-medium sized enterprises. Following this finding, the European Commission called on CJA Consultants to study the feasibility of a mandatory, EU-wide patent insurance scheme in early 2003. In 2006, CJA Consultants concluded that such a scheme was feasible.

This Note analyzes the mandatory patent insurance scheme proposed by CJA Consultants and considers whether a similar scheme could be implemented in the United States. First, the Note provides a background on patent insurance. Then, actual policy specimens from a patent insurer are analyzed to explain the differing types of insurance, their costs, and their shortcomings. Ultimately, the CJA Consultants‘ proposal is analyzed and compared to the identified shortcomings. The Note concludes that a mandatory U.S. patent insurance scheme would fail.

About the Author

Columbia Law School, J.D. expected 2009.

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One Reply to “Patent Insurance: Towards a More Affordable, Mandatory Scheme?”

  1. Unfortunately, most people learn this the hard way. Companies should not take such risks. I for one was in a car accident two years ago and because I didn't go to pay my auto insurance coverage I had to pay for the whole thing myself. All my savings gone into a split second. Since then I triple check these things, and I've learned everything there is to know about all of my policies and coverage. Nobody should be forced to go through something like that and all companies should make an investment for a less riskier future.

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