Last Week, Adweek reported that 50 organizations joined efforts to fight patent trolls by delivering a letter to four House and Senate leaders to demonstrate the diverse businesses affected by suits brought by patent trolls and urging Congress to pass legislation for patent troll reform.
Patent trolls are non-practicing entities that acquire patents without building the patented products. Instead, they license patents to manufacturers in exchange for the payment of royalties. Patent trolls often bring suit against manufacturers for infringement in order to settle for licensing fees or bring the manufacturers to court to have them pay for the right to practice the inventions under the trolls' patents.
In this episode of IP Soundings, Intellectual Property Partners David Gryce and JD Harriman discussed ways that companies can deal with patent trolls, as well as other patent basics.
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In the video, Mr. Harriman noted that in the past, companies that made products would sue each other for infringement. Today, patent troll suits account for a doubling of the historical number of patent infringement suits filed each year. However, he stated:
The good news is there have been a lot of things that happened recently that help companies deal with the patent troll problem. One of the most important of these is the America Invents Act. It's a sweeping change to the patent laws that has been implemented over the last year and a half and an important aspect of [it is]...the Post-Issuance proceedings. There are now methods in the patent office where you can challenge the validity of a patent out of court. An advantage of this is that it is faster and cheaper.