Public Patent Foundation Receives Seed Funding, Begins Operations

Executive Director Named One of World’s ‘Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs’

November 4, 2003

NEW YORK -- The New York City-based Public Patent Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at protecting individuals and small businesses from the negative effects of the patent system, has begun operations with the assistance of seed financing provided by the global social venture fund Echoing Green.

Daniel Ravicher, Founder of the Public Patent Foundation and a registered patent attorney, was named by Echoing Green as one of the world’s “Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs” for his campaign against patents that harm the public health, impinge civil liberties, and impair free markets.

According to Ravicher, roughly half of all patents in the United States are illegitimate, meaning they should have never been granted. Illegitimate patents restrict the availability of critical medications to the public and deprive small businesses in information technology industries of fair opportunities to compete in the marketplace. Utilizing legal action, advocacy and public education strategies, the Public Patent Foundation will work to expose and neutralize illegitimate patents through various mechanisms, including filing requests with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to have such patents revoked. Prominent law professors from Columbia, Georgetown and Stanford law schools have already pledged support for the organization.

“Most people do not realize how significantly illegitimate patents are assailing their health, their freedoms, and their wallets,” Ravicher, 28, said. “The Public Patent Foundation will close this information gap and represent the interests of the public on patent issues.”

Through the Public Patent Foundation, Ravicher will launch an education campaign regarding patents and implement various strategies for alleviating the harms caused by patents. Ultimately, the Public Patent Foundation will offer patent legal services to economically disadvantaged businesses and individuals, prepare and file amicus briefs in important patent cases, and establish a patent commons through which patents are made available to the public on favorable terms.

“Eliminating illegitimate patents will save the general public billions of dollars by removing barriers to competition in the marketplace for formerly patent-protected goods,” says Ravicher. “Raising awareness of the patent system’s devastating effects will promote dialogue and encourage support for reforming the system.”

Ravicher received a bachelor’s degree in materials science magna cum laude from the University of South Florida and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he also received the Public Service Award. Prior to founding the Public Patent Foundation, Ravicher practiced patent law with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP, and Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, LLP, all in New York. Throughout his career, Ravicher has performed hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services for individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses.

“Our goal is to preserve, protect, and promote the rights of the general public to have goods available in the marketplace without encumbrance from illegitimate patents and unsound patent policy,” said Ravicher. “We want to provide the public with an understanding of and a voice in the process.”


Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director, Public Patent Foundation: 917-843-3425;;


The Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT") is a not-for-profit legal services organization working to protect the public from the harms caused by the patent system. PUBPAT provides the general public, particularly those persons or businesses otherwise deprived of access to the system governing patents, with representation, advocacy, and education. To be kept informed of PUBPAT News, subscribe to the PUBPAT News List by sending an email with "subscribe" in the subject line to