Hi readers! Congressional support for patent reform continues to grow. On Monday, Rep. Issa and Rep. Chu introduced the Stopping the Offense Use of Patents (STOP Act). That bill prompted Matt Levy to release Patent Progress’s Guide to Patent Reform Legislation, which has summaries of the six pending bills: SHIELD Act (H.R. 845), Patent Quality Improvement Act (S. 866), Stopping the Offensive Use of Patents Act (STOP Act) (H.R. 2766), End Anonymous Patents Act (H.R. 2024), Patent Abuse Reduction Act (S. 1013), Patent Litigation and Innovation Act (H.R. 2639).
Matt Levy was quoted in Ars Technica explaining how expanding Covered Business Method review, which is part of both the STOP Act and Senator Schumer’s Patent Quality Improvement Act, would be a welcome reform because this review process at the USPTO costs much less than patent litigation. Matt was also quoted in eWEEK on this same issue:
This is probably the most important of the proposals out there. This allows you to disarm the trolls.
Professor Robin Feldman also had a good article this week supporting the FTC’s work to fight patent assertion entities, where she explains the problems of patent trolls, and why FTC action would help. She also notes that:
Both the White House report and Chairwoman Ramirez’s speech cite my research showing that patent assertion entities – that is, trolls – now file almost 60 percent of the patent lawsuits in this country. That is a staggering statistic, and a significant rise from 2007, when the level was only 25 percent.
There was also an interesting piece about the Stack Exchange Ask Patents project, which works with the USPTO to crowdsource prior art, preventing bad patents from being granted. Anil Dash tweeted the article, and then added, “(Why should the tech industry work with policy makers? To get good results like improving the patent system.)” Exactly!
Finally, reader Tyson Benson notified us that the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office has initiated an investigation into Farney Daniels, LLP to determine whether the firm’s demand letters constituted a violation of the Nebraska Consumer Protection Act. This is reminiscent of the suit brought by the Vermont AG under the Vermont Consumer Protection Act. This is yet another indication of the pervasiveness of the patent troll problem, and the wide range of support for efforts to #fixpatents.
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