The man who invented Priceline.com wants to shake up America’s approach to patents

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The man who invented Priceline.com wants to shake up America’s approach to patents

In 1997, Jay Walker founded Priceline.com — the Web site many people use to get cheaper airfare by “naming your own price.” Patenting the solution, and allowing others to use the patents for a fee, helped drive Walker’s success. But, Walker argues in an interview, many patents remain underused. Now, the man who smoothed transactions for buyers and sellers of airplane tickets wants to do something similar for a key part of the nation’s information economy. Walker is developing something called the United States Patent Utility. Here’s what that means.


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