New patent reform bill targets trolls
Goodlatte's bill would help put an end to the patent troll business model, supporters say
IDG News Service - New patent reform legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday aims to make it more difficult for patent trolls to file infringement lawsuits.
The Innovation Act, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, incorporates provisions in several other bills, introduced in recent months, targeting patent-licensing businesses that use infringement lawsuits as a major source of potential revenue. Tech groups have called in recent months for Congress to discourage the growing number of infringement lawsuits filed by patent-licensing firms, and several trade groups, along with digital rights groups Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, praised Goodlatte's bill.
The bill's several provisions will "really help put an end to this dangerous business model that threatens us all," said Julie Samuels, an EFF senior staff attorney."Taken together, what they will do is make that business model a less attractive business model."
The bill would require companies suing for patent infringement to identify the patents and claims infringed in their initial court pleadings, potentially making it more difficult for patent holders to file broad infringement claims. The legislation would also require patent holders filing lawsuits to disclose what groups have financial interest in the patent, and it would allow manufacturers of a product to intervene in a patent lawsuit against its customers, in an effort to reduce a growing number of patent lawsuits against users of technologies that allegedly infringe patents.
The bill would also allow judges to limit discovery in a patent lawsuit until the plaintiff's claims are clearly defined.
Patent reform targeting trolls has broad support in Congress, but patent licensing firms will fight back against the legislation, said Michael Petricone, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs at the Consumer Electronics Association.
"Patent trolling is a multibillion-dollar industry," he said. "Those who are making money off patent trolling see what's going on in Congress, see this bill, and they know their interests are under threat."
Lawmakers joining Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, in sponsoring the legislation included California Democrats Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo and Republicans Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Lamar Smith of Texas.
Organizations praising the bill included the App Developers Alliance, the Computer and Communication Industry Association and the Information Technology Industry Council.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In Apple v. Samsung, it's a 'holy war' for $2B
- A day into the trial, Apple and Samsung already annoying each other
- Supreme Court justices raise questions about software patents
- Phil Schiller up again in next round of Apple-Samsung battle
- Nokia and HTC bury hatchet in patent disputes
- How about them apples: Google and Samsung ink patent deal
- Samsung's Apple damages equal to just 16 days' profit
- Supreme Court to get software patent case
- The latest move to kill bad patents divides tech industry
- Judge refuses to stay Apple-Samsung lawsuit pending patent review
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Gov't Legislation/Regulation White Papers | Webcasts