Congress to consider bill to stop abusive patent lawsuits

WASHINGTON Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:11pm EST

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) throws up his hands as he talks to reporters after a Democratic caucus meeting about debt relief legislation with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington August 1, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) throws up his hands as he talks to reporters after a Democratic caucus meeting about debt relief legislation with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington August 1, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Congressmen introduced a bill on Wednesday that would penalize companies that file frivolous patent infringement lawsuits, derided by critics as "patent trolls."

Representatives Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, and Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, sponsored the bill, which would ensure a company bringing a frivolous patent lawsuit would pay all the costs and attorney fees associated with the case.

"Patent trolls drained an estimated $29 billion from American innovators and companies in 2011," said DeFazio in a statement. "They pad their pockets by buying patents on products they didn't create and then suing companies from every industry for infringement."

Google Inc, Microsoft Corp, the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Consumer Electronics Association all supported the proposed legislation.

Suzanne Michel, Google's senior patent counsel, said the search company supported the bill and noted that many of the lawsuits claim infringement of controversial software patents.

"Suits brought by trolls have quadrupled since 2005. They now account for 60 percent of all patent litigation," said Michel in a blog post. "The trolls' weapons of choice — used in 85 percent of their suits — are software patents, many of which are vague, over broad and invalid."

There is no Senate companion bill at this point for the House of Representatives action.

(Reporting By Diane Bartz. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Comments (4)
diluded0000 wrote:
If the patent is overly broad or vague, I would question why it was awarded in the first place.

Feb 27, 2013 6:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
staff3 wrote:
‘Two Congressmen introduced a bill on Wednesday that would penalize companies that file frivolous patent infringement lawsuits, derided by critics as “patent trolls.”‘

They are supremely duped or supremely bought. Who is the bigger crook, the companies that buy Congress, or the members who willingly take their money?

“Patent troll”

infringers and their paid puppets’ definition of ‘patent troll’:

anyone who has the nerve to sue us for stealing their invention

Call it what you will…patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, shell company, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to stop or pay”. This is just dissembling by large invention thieves and their paid puppets to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft. The fact is, many of the large multinationals and their puppets who defame inventors in this way themselves make no products in the US or create any American jobs and it is their continued blatant theft which makes it impossible for the true creators to do so. To them the only patents that are legitimate are their own -if they have any.

It’s about property rights. They should not only be for the rich and powerful. Show me a country with weak or ineffective property rights and I’ll show you a weak economy with high unemployment. Does that remind you of any present day country?

Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don’t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back into the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all patentees, large and small.

Those wishing to help fight big business giveaways should contact us as below and join the fight as we are building a network of inventors and other stakeholders to lobby Congress to restore property rights for all patent owners -large and small.

For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

Feb 27, 2013 9:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
staff3 wrote:
Lies and damned lies! These are dissemblings by huge multinational thieves and their paid puppets -some in Congress and elsewhere in the federal government. Their intent is to pervert or weaken the patent system so it can only be used by them and no one else. Then they can rob at will and destroy their small competitors.

For the truth, please see http://www.truereform.piausa.org/
https://www.facebook.com/pi.ausa.5
http://piausa.wordpress.com/

Feb 27, 2013 11:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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