Monday, March 17, 2014

Obama Killing The Patent Trolls

Hopefully this article by David Kravets in Wired will be true.  Here is a snippet:

"A patent troll is generally understood to be a corporation that exists to stockpile patents for litigation purposes, instead of to build products. Often taking advantage of vague patent claims and a legal system slanted in the plaintiff’s favor, the company uses the patents to sue or threaten to sue other companies, with an eye to settling out of court for a fraction of what they were originally seeking.

The nation’s legal dockets are littered with patent cases with varying degrees of merit, challenging everything from mobile phone push notifications and podcasting to online payment methods and public Wi-Fi. Some 2,600 companies were targeted in new patent lawsuits last year alone.

Against that backdrop, Obama issued five executive orders on patent reform last summer. Among other things, they require the Patent and Trademark Office to stop issuing overly broad patents, and to force patent applicants to provide more details on what invention they are claiming. One of the orders opens up patent applications for public scrutiny — crowdsourcing — while they are in the approval stage, to help examiners locate prior art and assist with analyzing patent claims."