And we’re back, after taking last week off for the Fourth of July. Here’s what you need to know about patent news this week:
On Tuesday, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), co-sponsor of the SHIELD Act, had an op-ed in The Hill in which he summarized the pervasive patent troll problem, pointing out statistics from James Bessen and Colleen Chien, and concluded with remarks on the growing bipartisan support in Congress:
In a welcome break from the partisan dysfunction that has plagued the last few Congresses, there is motivation and momentum on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to address the problem of patent trolls. 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. We cannot afford to allow extortion that squeezes billions of dollars from the people and business that fuel our economy.
Also on Tuesday, Justin McCabe explained that there was some procedural action in the Vermont state case against patent troll MPHJ; there is still uncertainty about whether the state law claims are preempted by federal law.
This week on Patent Progress, Matt Levy wrote about the ITC applying its new rule on the “domestic industry” requirement and finding against troll Lamina, a decision that “potentially saves the defendant companies millions of dollars in expenses.” He also explained in another post that “an unregulated secondary market for patents inevitably leads to patent trolls, and we all pay that cost.” And yesterday, he reported on introduction of the latest new patent bill, the Patent Litigation and Innovation Act, sponsored by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), which has some end user protections.
Finally, thanks to Patent Progress reader “Master of Comp Sci” for commenting on the most recent Weekly Patent Roundup with Joe Mullin’s story in Ars Technica about ArrivalStar, a patent troll that targets public transit systems, being sued by the American Public Transportation Association and the Public Patent Foundation. The complaint states:
In the midst of a struggling economy for government and citizens alike, where budgets are tight for everyone, the last thing public transportation agencies should be forced to do is pay unjustified license fees to patent holders making frivolous infringement claims. Yet, that is exactly what several of our nation’s public transportation agencies have already been forced to do as a result of a patent holder named ArrivalStar that claims patents on the idea of telling someone when a vehicle will arrive.
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