Wednesday, 31 July 2013 15:35

NEW LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS EXCESSIVE PATENT TROLLING

Written by 

As noted earlier on the Malloy & Malloy IP Blog, a national discussion has emerged on what many perceive as increasingly widespread and over-aggressive tactics by “patent trolls.” Patent trolls, which are less pejoratively known as patent assertion entities (PAEs) or non-practicing entities (NPEs), are persons or companies who legitimately obtain patent rights and then enforce the patents against alleged infringers, without actually making or using the patented inventions themselves (which is perfectly legal).

Given the surge in patent lawsuit filings by NPEs in recent years (some assert that a majority of all patent lawsuits were brought by NPEs in 2012), it is not surprising that there has been an increase in public awareness as well as increased administrative and legislative attention, including recent action by the ITC, the White House, members of Congress, etc. Just recently, forty four large companies, including Wal-Mart and Morgan Stanley, sent a letter to the judiciary committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in support for new legislation that would broaden the power of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the legitimacy of issued patents (press releases: here and here).

Indeed, there has been a recent flurry of new legislation which aims to address certain formalities by which patent infringement lawsuits or similar proceedings are filed, as well as to enhance the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's powers to review granted patents, all in efforts to curb over-aggressive patent enforcement tactics. In some respects, the current legislative activity parallels the 2011 legislative efforts taken against over-aggressive qui tam false patent marking lawsuit filings, which was ultimately addressed by the America Invents Act (AIA).

Examples of new legislation aimed at curbing abuses of patent enforcement include:

H.R. 2639: Patent Litigation and Innovation Act of 2013

S. 1013: Patent Abuse Reduction Act of 2013

H.R. 2766: STOP Act

S. 866: Patent Quality Improvement Act of 2013

Read 2054 times
Jason LaCosse

As a Registered Patent Attorney, Mr. LaCosse concentrates his practice in Patent and Trademark Prosecution, Intellectual Property Enforcement, and Licensing. He maintains an AV-Preeminent peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell, is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as an expert in Intellectual Property Law, and is licensed to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. Mr. LaCosse is an active member of the Dade County Bar Association, serving on the DCBA Membership Committee and the DCBA Intellectual Property Committee. Mr. LaCosse earned his bachelor's degree in Applied Physics with honors from Michigan Tech, his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and his law degree from the University of Denver.