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The Politicization Of The US Patent System

The Washington Post story, How patent reform’s fraught politics have left USPTO still without a boss (July 30), is a vivid account of how patent reform has divided the US economy, preempting a possible replacement for David Kappos who stepped down 18 months ago. The division is even bigger than portrayed. Universities have lined up en masse to oppose reform, while main street businesses that merely use technology argue for reform. Reminiscent of the partisan divide that has paralyzed US politics, this struggle crosses party lines and extends well beyond the usual inter-industry debates. Framed in terms of combating patent trolls through technical legal fixes, there lurks a broader economic concern – to what extent ordinary retailers, bank, restaurants, local banks, motels, realtors, and travel agents should bear the burden of defending against patents as a cost of doing business.


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    Coalition Asks US Congress For Action On “Patent Trolls”

    Published on 28 February 2013 @ 12:32 am

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Kelly Burke for Intellectual Property Watch

    In an open letter to the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee today (27 February), a coalition of agencies, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators, urged Congress to take action against “patent trolls, non-practicing patent-holding entities.

    “Congress should consider measures that shift incentives away from those who game the system and toward an innovative economy and competitive market,” the letter stated [pdf].

    The group, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), cited comments made by President Obama earlier this month, who said that so-called “patent trolls” are “essentially trying to leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them” (IPW, IP-Watch Briefs, 15 February 2013).

    The letter also expressed support for the “Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes” (SHIELD) Act. The bill, introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, and Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, would require plaintiffs to pay for the defendant’s attorney fees and other legal costs if their patent lawsuit fails in court. The bill has been applauded by many as a significant step in deterring non-practicing patent-holding entities from pursuing litigation.

    Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, expressed his support for SHIELD in a statement today: “If we want to build American businesses and create jobs, we need to change the law that encourages baseless but disruptive legal threats for American businesses. Today’s law encourages unethical patent trolls, and we stand with President Obama and the authors of the SHIELD Act to get it changed. We urge Congress to pass the SHIELD Act as soon as possible.”

    The release from EFF is available here.

     

    Comments

    1. Top 10 Weekly IP & Patent News Update - Article One Partners says:

      [...]  Coalition Asks US Congress for Action on Non-Practicing Entities – Intellectual Property Watch [...]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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