Roundup of This Week’s Patent News: August 1 Edition

I’m back with some news this week!

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary IP Subcommittee held a hearing on The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: The America Invents Act and Beyond, Domestic and International Policy Goals.  We were pleased to hear that acting director of the PTO, Michelle Lee, emphasized the ongoing need for patent reform legislation and improving patent quality in her testimony.

Additionally, on Wednesday CCIA sent a letter to Lee and the Commerce Department’s Penny Pritzker also emphasizing patent quality and the need for patent reform legislation.

And yesterday, CCIA filed comments with the PTO on guidelines after Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank.

Did we miss something?  Questions or suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment below, mention us on Twitter (@PatentProgress), or email us: patentprogress[AT]ccianet[DOT]org

The License on Transfer Network is a LOT of Good

A coalition of tech companies (Google, Canon, SAP, Newegg, Dropbox and Asana) recently announced a new private initiative to disarm patent trolls: the License on Transfer Network (LOT). This is essentially an extension of Google’s Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (OPN) that I wrote about in my very first Patent Progress post last year.

In the OPN, every included patent carried a non-assertion pledge that traveled with it. Selling off the patent doesn’t remove the pledge. Once a patent is in the OPN, it’s in for good, meaning it can’t be used by patent trolls.

The LOT Network is a coalition of companies who have all agreed to one basic idea: if a company in the coalition sells a patent, all the other companies are automatically licensed to the patent.

This still allows any coalition member to sue another member directly for patent infringement. But they won’t privateer against each other, and even if their patents end up in trolls’ hands, every coalition member is protected.

LOTlogoBecause we’re talking about thousands of patents, the coalition members have made a dent in the patents available for patent trolling.

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Roundup of This Week’s Patent News: July 11 Edition

Hi there!  We finally have some patent news this week.

First of all, we got a small victory in the fight for patent reform.  The Obama Administration allegedly backed down from nominating patent reform opponent Phil Johnson to be the head of the PTO after opposition from the tech industry (including from CCIA).  This is encouraging, and hopefully President Obama will nominate someone who helps him accomplish patent reform, as he had called for in the State of the Union.

In legislation news, yesterday the TROL Act was passed out of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.  This is not a good thing.  A few weeks ago Matt explained why focusing on demand letters is not helpful for those of us who actually want to fix the troll problem.  After the bill was referred to the full committee yesterday, CCIA released a statement with more information about why this particular bill is so problematic, including that it will impair the FTC’s and state AGs’ abilities to go after trolls.

And on Wednesday, six tech companies announced a new agreement called the License on Transfer (LOT) network that should help prevent patents from getting in the hands of trolls.

Did we miss something?  Questions or suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment below, mention us on Twitter (@PatentProgress), or email us: patentprogress[AT]ccianet[DOT]org

Roundup of This Week’s Patent News: June 20 Edition

Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its final patent opinion of the term, Alice v. CLS Bank.  This case should help clarify the patent eligibility of software, and improve patent quality, but we’re still going to need patent reform legislation to really fix the problems in the patent system that are exploited by patent trolls.  As Matt Levy explained in CCIA’s press release:  “This is an important tool in the fight against patent trolls, but it is not going to solve the problem.”

And last Friday, Matt elaborated more about the study CCIA released last week, which “found that PAE litigation has a strong negative impact on venture capital investment and startups.”

Did we miss something?  Questions or suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment below, mention us on Twitter (@PatentProgress), or email us: patentprogress[AT]ccianet[DOT]org