Rep. Peter DeFazio Puts Patent Trolls on Notice

July 10, 2013 -

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has penned an editorial over at The Hill espousing the benefits of the SHIELD Act which he crafted with the help of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) with input from tech start-ups, consumer groups, and legal professionals from all across the country.

The bill proposes that if a company or law firm determined to be a "patent troll" loses a lawsuit against a company it is targeting, they will be held responsible for all costs and attorney’s fees associated with the case. In England, they call this "loser pays." DeFazio points out that most patent trolls lose 92 percent of the time according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service.

"In the coming months I am confident that Democrats and Republicans will be able to come together to pass a comprehensive plan that will protect the Americans bold enough to create and innovate, and stop the people who hijack their ideas to get rich quick," DeFazio concludes. "We cannot afford to allow extortion that squeezes billions of dollars from the people and business that fuel our economy."

You can read the whole editorial here.

"Troll" © 2013 Mr. Chuckles / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.


Comments

Re: Rep. Peter DeFazio Puts Patent Trolls on Notice

I think this is a terrible idea.

Patent trolls already run off the business model of 'we have resources, you do not, you can not afford to fight much less loose, so pay us a fee instead'.  Yeah they might loose most of the time, but the bulk of their income comes from not even fighting.

What this is more likely to do is make lawsuits even riskier for small time patent holders that see their work duplicated by larger competitors or potential customers.  There is also the problem of what legally counts as a 'patent troll'.  We tend to think of it as 'company that patents but does not produce', but we also tend to forget that there are quite a few companies out there that produce research and IP blocks and then license them, and those licesnse fees are what pays for the work they do.  Thus there is going to have to be some neuonced definition, and as soon as you have that, the firms with reasonably deep pockets and clever lawyers will find some way around it and not be covered.

 
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