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Top 50 People Shaping the Future of IP

July 12, 2013

Fenwick & West intellectual property scholar Colleen Chien is named among the "Top 50 People Shaping the Future of IP" in Managing Intellectual Property magazine. Chien, who is also an assistant professor at Santa Clara University Law School and a former Fenwick associate, has studied patent trolls – or patent assertion entities (PAEs), a term she coined – since 2008. Chien's work on patent trolls, including recent papers “Startups and Patent Trolls” and “Patent Trolls by the Numbers,” has helped spark a national conversation.

In the accompanying profile, Managing IP notes that based on Chien’s research, the Obama Administration focused its plan to combat patent trolls – rolled out in June 2013 with five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations – on targeting the behavior of trolls rather than trying to define a patent troll. 

In April, as the profile notes, “Chien testified before a House Judiciary Committee’s Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee hearing about frivolous patent litigation,” and in June, she co-wrote an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Make Patent Trolls Pay in Court” with Chief Judge Randall Rader of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and David Hricik, his clerk.

The op-ed starts, “The onslaught of litigation brought by 'patent trolls' – who typically buy up a slew of patents, then sue anyone and everyone who might be using or selling the claimed inventions – has slowed the development of new products, increased costs for businesses and consumers, and clogged our judicial system.”

Chien told Managing IP that she sees herself as “a messenger.”

“My job is to ask questions and try to combine data and people's experiences to answer them.”

In February, the board of the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty (CAPALF) named Chien its first Eric R. Yamamoto Emerging Scholar, citing her impressive scholarship and contributions to public policy and the development of intellectual property law, and in April, Silicon Valley Business Journal named Chien to its list of “Women of Influence,” which recognized “outstanding women leaders."​