President Obama Tackles Patent Trolls

by Matt Klassen on June 5, 2013

The President has tackled the patent trolls. While lamentably this news is not some engaging fantasy tale about our fearless leader slaying our gruesome foe, some technology companies might still see it that way, as President Obama has issued five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations against companies who collect patents for the sole purpose of using their intellectual property portfolios to sue others.

In a statement issued yesterday, the White House explained the President’s plan for swift and decisive action against these monsters of the patent world, urging Congress to start improving an outdated and ineffective patent system that currently allows for companies to horde intellectual property for the purposes of suing others, stagnating innovation and stalling development.

This war on patent trolls is really nothing new, as the President previously urged industry stakeholders to ready themselves come together to slay these trolls, not with pitchforks and torches, but through consensus on how to build “smarter patent laws.”

There may not be a more hated group in the technology industry as a whole than patent trolls, considered by many to be blood sucking leeches who thrive off the innovation and creativity of others, swooping in to grab important pieces of intellectual property for the sole purpose of licensing them and suing other companies who may or may not be in violation of them.

As CNET writer Don Reisinger explains, “The administration has ordered that patent owners regularly update their ownership information so they can’t hide patents in other entities. It has also requested that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) enhance employee training to decrease chances of broad patents being approved.”

The other recommendations are centered around improving “education and training for citizens, entrepreneurs, and USPTO workers, and ensuring that the U.S. International Trade Commission’s power to bar the importation of goods to the U.S. are proper and the process behind that action ‘transparent, effective, and efficient.’”

Finally, as mentioned, the President has also urged Congress to start recreating the current patent system, updating and improving the system by altering the way “product injunctions are awarded and increase transparency across the board”, among other recommendations.

Simply put, in the words of the President modern day patent trolls are little more than extortionists, often hiding behind shell companies as they abuse the current patent process and court system to shake down innocent investors, entrepreneurs, and end users. It is this entire process the President is hoping to end, calling for more transparency and accountability in the entire patent process in an effort to root out the trolls that continue to stall innovation and development.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Senate Attempts to Root Out Patent Trolls —
November 12, 2013 at 5:38 am
Senate Fails to Wrangle Patent Trolls —
June 2, 2014 at 5:46 am

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