PublishedJune 7, 2013

Roundup of This Week’s Patent News: June 7 Edition

Happy Friday, Patent Progress readers!  Today was a big week for patent news.  In case you missed it, on Tuesday the White House came out with a new plan to combat patent trolls — five executive actions and seven legislative proposals — as well as a new study from the Executive Office of the President.  Our own Matt Levy had a post breaking down the Administration’s announcement — particularly the overlooked suggestion on “functional claiming” — that is a good starting point for getting up to speed.  We’re excited about a lot of this, as are many business and consumer groups.  Mashable’s Alex Fitzpatrick also had a great roundup of reactions to the announcement.  Amusing coincidence alert:  as Jeff John Roberts observed on GigaOM, Intellectual Ventures (subject of Matt Levy’s Dear Intellectual Ventures series) filed two new lawsuits on Tuesday.

On Monday Tim Wu came out with a great article in the New Yorker, provocatively entitled “How to Make War on Patent Trolls,” in which he discussed the Vermont AG’s new suit against patent troll MPHJ, and suggests FTC action.  An excerpt:

It is time to declare total war on patent trolls. The federal government, and the states, should do everything they can to exterminate them and to make anyone regret getting into such crooked work. The existence of trolls is entirely a product of government: they abuse a government program (the patent law), and continue to exist only thanks to government inaction.

Finally, another recent piece of news is last weekend’s long-awaited follow-up episode of This American Life’s When Patents Attack!  That, and the original from 2011, are worth a listen.

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

Ali Sternburg


Ali Sternburg is Vice President, Information Policy at the Computer & Communications Industry Association, where she focuses on intermediary liability, copyright, and other areas of intellectual property. Ali joined CCIA during law school in 2011, and previously served as Senior Policy Counsel, Policy Counsel, and Legal Fellow. She is also an Inaugural Fellow at the Internet Law & Policy Foundry.

She received her J.D. in 2012 from American University Washington College of Law, where she was a Student Attorney in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, President of the Intellectual Property Law Society, Senior Symposium Chair and Senior Marketing Manager for the Intellectual Property Brief, and a Dean’s Fellow at the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property.

She graduated from Harvard College in 2009 where she studied Government and Music, wrote her senior honors thesis on “Theoretical and Legal Views on U.S. Government Involvement in Musical Creativity Online,” and interned at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.

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