There has been much concern about the rise of patent trolls, the expenses of patent litigation, and the costs of patent transactions in the United States. The scholar James Bessen has been concerned that aggressive patent litigation has undermined innovation and entrepreneurship. The Supreme Court of the United States has responded to the perceived problems in respect of patent law with a string of significant patent rulings. However, the patent law reform process has been stalled in the United States Congress. While in corporate America, things are heating up.

Last week in Las Vegas at the CES 2015 technology conference, Toyota made a significant announcement in respect of intellectual property, clean technologies, and open innovation. Toyota has long been an innovator in respect of green vehicles and transportation -- most notably, with the development of hybrid vehicles, like the Toyota Prius. The company has assiduously developed a large portfolio of patents in respect of clean technologies, across a wide range of sectors.