Lamar Smith Wasting Time Trying To Define Patent Trolls

from the trolling-not-necessarily-the-issue dept

Rep. Lamar Smith has been working hard to change laws in all three branches of intellectual property -- and all of his proposals seem to make those IP laws even worse than they already are. For copyrights, he wants to expand the DMCA. For trademarks, he wants to get rid of many exceptions for use of trademarks. For patent reform, while coming up with a few good proposals, most of them are likely to make the system much worse. On that front, Smith held hearings today to see if Congress could come up with a working definition of a patent troll. While it's good to see Congress recognizing that patent hoarding can hold back innovation, defining just what a patent troll is doesn't seem like it's going to help. The issue isn't whether or not anyone is a patent troll, but whether the patent system is being used to hold back innovation. Trying to define what a patent troll is will simply confuse the issue, and lead companies to focus on avoiding the specific definitions of a patent troll, while trying to accuse every one they get into a patent lawsuit with of meeting the regulatory definition of patent troll. A much more important issue would be to focus on making sure the patent system is actually encouraging innovation.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 15 Jun 2006 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Mike's patently ignorant

    angry dude,

    Let me get this straight... despite the fact that the patent system is clearly supposed to be only for non-obvious ideas to those skilled in the art, you would prefer that someone who doesn't understand the space at all is the person in charge of approving patents? You don't think that's the least bit problematic?

    Allowing those who understand the space to weigh in gives the patent examiner more information that can be useful. The examiner should obviously recognize the bias of people involved, but not allowing them to weigh in seems foolish.

    Of course not, they would all hate the inventor and would try to invalidate the patent.
    This is just basic human nature.

    You have an incredibly dim view of human nature. Perhaps that's why you're so angry.

    If what you say is true, why do peer review journal systems work? Based on what you say, no peers would ever allow new papers to get published because it would just "make them look like complete idiots." Except (ooops, there goes your whole argument) that doesn't happen.

    The rest of your comments are equally foolish...

    Considering the first point isn't foolish, and you refuse to elaborate on any of the other points, we'll just have to assume that perhaps they're not so foolish. If you want to take issue with specific points, I'm more than willing to discuss them as I did with the point above.

    If you prefer to just call me names, then please go somewhere else. It doesn't add to the discussion, and it certainly does little to promote innovation... sort of like the patent system.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.