PublishedJuly 29, 2013

Is the FTC Study on Patent Trolls Going to Happen?

As we’ve noted, the FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez recently proposed doing a 6(b) study on the patent assertion entity business model. The proposed study has the potential to get us information about how patent trolls operate that would be nearly impossible to get without litigation.

MLex is reporting (subscription required) that FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen indicated last week after a speech at the Chamber of Commerce that she believes that a 6(b) study to examine the patent troll industry would be “appropriate.” It takes three votes to initiate the study, though.

One Commissioner who hasn’t said anything publicly about a 6(b) study on patent trolls is Commissioner Julie Brill.

Well, we may learn her views soon enough. This Wednesday (7/31), there’s a panel discussion sponsored by the American Constitution Society entitled “Patent Assertion Entities: Helping or Hurting Innovation?”

Commissioner Brill is one of the panel speakers, along with Rebecca Kelly Slaughter from Senator Schumer’s office and David Balto, a regular contributor here at Patent Progress.

I have no doubt that the subject of an FTC study will come up. If there’s news to report, we’ll let you know.

Matt Levy

Previously, Matt was patent counsel at the Computer & Communications Industry Association

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