Yet Another Anti-Patent Troll Bill Introduced In Congress

from the maybe-something-will-get-through dept

We were just talking about the third attempt by someone in Congress to deal with some aspect of patent trolling, and already we have a fourth bill. Senator John Cornyn has introduced the Patent Abuse Reduction Act, which has a variety of provisions that would make life slightly more difficult for trolls. Some of what's in the bill has been seen in those other bills, like fee shifting (such that trolls need to pay fees if they lose a case) and identifying who is really behind the lawsuit. As the EFF notes, there's plenty to like about the bill, but like all of the other bills so far, it still seems somewhat narrowly focused, rather than taking on larger problems, like the granting of bad patents by the USPTO. Still, it's good to see that Congress seems serious about dealing with patent trolls, and is actually bringing out bills to deal with the issue. Now let's see if something comprehensive might actually get enough momentum to become law.

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    horse with no name, May 23rd, 2013 @ 11:31pm

    against the wall

    Basically, it's still throwing shit against the wall to appeal to your constituents, all while trying to get in front of an issue and claim ownership.

    t's good to see that Congress seems serious about dealing with patent trolls

    There is no indication that they are serious, as literally hundreds of bills are crafted and tossed out there on a regular basis on everything from patent law to protecting some obscure animal from a swamp somewhere. None of it is particularly serious, most of it is the type of grandstanding or busy work that makes Washington suck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 1:51am

    'Now let's see if something comprehensive might actually get enough momentum to become law'

    the greatest need is there. to have the troll identify who is behind the suit. to have the troll pay fees is also good but to make a filing of an illegal suit punishable would be a big help. that also then needs to be moved across to cater for copyright. i read where the RIAA has just passed the 20million take down request mark. it doesn't state how many of those were false though and it doesn't state the harm done when the take down is false. this blanket opinion of the entertainment industries that they own everything and therefore everything has to be taken down unless deemed ok by them needs to be stemmed. we saw just this week where 4 major studios have put take down requests to Google for TPB AFK. they have no right to do that and the maker of the movie has not only told them to stop but has indicated the harm to his free speech. the movie is, of course, under creative commons licensing and the studios have no rights on it at all. it is simply that they dont want the truth being told of the way the Swedish legal system was 'persuaded' to rule in the industries favour, after making sure the judge in the trial was one who was/is? a member of the entertainment industries as well! what a sham of a legal system! what a disgraceful way of the industries being allowed to get the verdict it wanted!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 1:57am

    The question is will this legislation do anything to solve the problem or is it just legislation for legislation's sake?

    Governments are notorious for putting through legislation with good intentions but no teeth just so they can say to the public "look, we are on your side".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 2:10am


    Like say, the perjury penalty technically in the DMCA regarding fraudulent DMCA claims?

    Sounds good on paper, making sure there's a penalty for bogus claims, but with such weak language and massive loopholes the odds of anyone actually being successfully charged with it are for all intents and purposes non-existent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 2:58am

    Cost of society on patent abuse

    Is there any study regarding this topic, like how many companies cease to exist because of being sued for abusive (need clear defination because most of such cases didn't even managed to defense in the court) claims of patent infringement? Or how much jobs are losing because of this, etc. ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 5:18am

    "Now let's see if something comprehensive might actually get enough momentum to become law."

    Good luck with that. The definition of Bureaucracy seems appropriate to this situation:

    Bureaucracy: When 100 people who believe A get together and compromise on B.

    Just you wait. Nothing decent will come of this because they'll all compromise on some aspect, rendering the resulting law useless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Eli Rabett, May 24th, 2013 @ 6:09am

    Evening up the playing field

    A law which assigns all liability to any company which sells a product that violates a patent would a) bring some serious muscle into these cases b) preserve copyright and c) kill off the troll business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    Why should we complain if politicians actually listen to us when we want laws narrowed down in detail to specifics? Making it too broad would affect legitimate copyright holders who actually don't abuse copyright claims.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    staff, May 24th, 2013 @ 7:02am

    more dissembling by Masnick

    'Senator John Cornyn has introduced the Patent Abuse Reduction Act'

    Cornyn, like you, has been severely duped or severely bought.

    Nuts! These are dissemblings of large multinational invention thieves and their paid puppets.

    “patent troll”

    infringers and their paid puppets’ definition of ‘patent troll’:

    anyone who has the nerve to sue us for stealing their invention

    The patent system now teeters on the brink of lawlessness. Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, shell company, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to stop or pay”. This is just dissembling by large invention thieves and their paid puppets to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft. The fact is, many of the large multinationals and their puppets who defame inventors in this way themselves make no products in the US or create any American jobs and it is their continued blatant theft which makes it impossible for the true creators to do so. To them the only patents that are legitimate are their own -if they have any.

    It’s about property rights. They should not only be for the rich and powerful. Our founders: Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and others felt so strongly about the rights of inventors that they included inventors rights to their creations and discoveries in the Constitution. They understood the trade off. Inventors are given a limited monopoly and in turn society gets the benefits of their inventions (telephone, computer, airplane, automobile, lighting, etc) into perpetuity and the jobs the commercialization of those inventions bring. For 200 years the patent system has not only fueled the US economy, but the world’s. If we weaken the patent system we force inventors underground like Stradivarius and in turn weaken our economy and job creation. Worse yet, we destroy the American dream -the ability to prosper from our ingenuity for the benefit of our children and communities. Who knows who the next Alexander Graham Bell will be. It could be your son or daughter. It could be you. To kill or weaken the patent system is to kill their futures. Show me a country with weak or ineffective property rights and I’ll show you a weak economy with high unemployment. If we cannot own the product of our minds or labors, what can we be said to truly own. Life and liberty are fundamentally tied to and in fact based on property rights. Our very lives are inseparably tied to our property. Large multinational corporations are on the brink of destroying the American dream -our ability to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps from the working classes by building our own companies while making better futures for our children and our communities.

    Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don’t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back into the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all patentees, large and small.

    Those wishing to help fight big business giveaways should contact us as below and join the fight as we are building a network of inventors and other stakeholders to lobby Congress to restore property rights for all patent owners -large and small.

    For the truth about trolls, please see icle/142741

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 7:23am

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    Ronnie? Is that you?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Steph Kennedy, IPTT (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    From the "just-what-we-need,-more-laws" department

    I'll never be convinced that the government is the right place to solve this problem, beyond cleaning up the USPTO so stupid patents don't get granted in the first place. But it is encouraging I suppose that at least the noise level is high enough now to convince people that patent trolling is a real and very serious issue facing American businesses!

    Besides, Cornyn is a hometown boy for me so you gotta side with a Texan if at all possible!

    Just sayin',


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    Could you perhaps spend a few minutes bringing your website into the 21st century instead of mindlessly spamming your regurgitated lies?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    RyanNerd (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    Oh, I guess that procedure is already in place

    I have it under good authority that the patent office selection committee will now be made up of untrained monkeys with darts and and dartboard.

    Wait my information is not correct. This has been the process for years now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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