Hi there! We finally have some patent news this week.
First of all, we got a small victory in the fight for patent reform. The Obama Administration allegedly backed down from nominating patent reform opponent Phil Johnson to be the head of the Patent and Trademark Office, informally used interchangeably with USPTO. after opposition from the tech industry (including from CCIA). This is encouraging, and hopefully President Obama will nominate someone who helps him accomplish patent reform, as he had called for in the State of the Union.
In legislation news, yesterday the TROL Act was passed out of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. This is not a good thing. A few weeks ago Matt explained why focusing on demand letters is not helpful for those of us who actually want to fix the 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. problem. After the bill was referred to the full committee yesterday, CCIA released a statement with more information about why this particular bill is so problematic, including that it will impair the FTC’s and state AGs’ abilities to go after trolls.
And on Wednesday, six tech companies announced a new agreement called the License on Transfer (LOT) network that should help prevent patents from getting in the hands of trolls.
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