Intellectual Property Policy

Intel public policy: How Intel promotes innovation worldwide

Intel owns over 40,000 patents worldwide. Innovation, and the intellectual property (IP) that underlines it, are central to our business. Intel believes that a balanced, fair approach to IP systems is the best way to incentivize innovation. Intel's objective is to achieve balanced protection and enforcement for intellectual property—including patents, copyrights, and trade secrets—globally.  

Key US Issues

  • Abusive patent litigation practices, and the unreasonably high royalties that derive from such practices, harm innovation. Companies face more patent infringement cases than ever before, with nearly 6,500 cases filed in the United States in 2013 (a 25 percent increase over 2012). The expense of defending against such cases has become a burden for companies, requiring investment to be diverted from research and development and other business uses to pay for expanding litigation costs. This unprecedented boom in patent litigation, as evidenced by a nearly 1,300 percent increase in non-practicing entity patent litigation since 2004, has more to do with an unbalanced patent system than it does with any increase in patent infringement. 

Conversely, a balanced patent system spurs innovation by rewarding individuals who put the public in full possession of new ideas. That reward is unjustified when individuals fail to describe fully or claim clearly their invention with vague and ambiguous patents. Further, rewards must be apportioned based on the actual contribution of the patented technology to the product, because over-compensation harms the patent system as much as under-compensation. Abusive litigation practices that exploit weaknesses in our laws and procedures to obtain excessive rewards wastes limited government and industry resources, taxes legitimate innovation and undermines the patent system.

  • Failing to abide by voluntary fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) commitments made to standard-setting organizations is one form of abusive patent litigation practices. The widespread adoption of a standardized technology, such as the Wi-Fi standard, can drive innovation and provide significant benefits to consumers. However, once a standard becomes widely adopted (to the point that it is essential for products to incorporate it), the temptation to hold up "locked in" implementers and users for unreasonable royalties is great. Thus, it is essential that participants in standard-setting activities abide by the commitments they gave voluntarily during the standard-setting work and grant licenses on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis. 
  • Trade secrets are vital to maintaining US competitiveness globally. Studies estimate that trade secrets can comprise up to 80 percent of the value of a company, and American "know how" is vital to securing the US market lead and US jobs. Trade secret theft, particularly from foreign sources, is a strong risk to US global competitiveness.