Lots of support from venture capitalists (VCs) this week on patent reform! And that makes sense, because VCs have the power and resources to invest in startups, and they don’t want the risk of patent litigation as a liability. 39 VCs sent a letter to Congress this week in support of patent reform; a cheaper to alternative to litigation (like CBM review!) was their first suggestion. Professor Robin Feldman also had a new study come out this week on how VCs are influenced by patent An entity in the business of being infringed — by analogy to the mythological troll that exacted payments from the unwary. Cf. NPE, PAE, PME. See Reitzig and Henkel, Patent Trolls, the Sustainability of ‘Locking-in-to-Extort’ Strategies, and Implications for Innovating Firms. demand letters. Both of these developments were covered in Matt’s post from Wednesday.
Also, yesterday the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on Demand Letters and Consumer Protection: Examining Deceptive Practices by Patent Assertion Entities. I live-tweeted the hearing on @PatentProgress. If you scan our feed, or the hashtags #fixpatents, #patentreform, and #trollhearing, you’ll get a good idea of what was raised by members and witnesses.
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