House Approves (Weakened) Anti-Patent Trolling Bill, Now We Wait For The Senate
from the a-step-forward dept
Unfortunately, the bill that did pass had already been watered down by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (who sponsored the overall bill), when he was convinced by heavy lobbying from Microsoft, IBM and a few other large patent holders to remove the "covered business method" program from the bill. That's the program that lets the USPTO more quickly review and toss out bad patents it never should have granted. The only reason I can think not to have that program in there is... if you happen to have a lot of really crappy patents. Thankfully, it appears there's more support for such a program on the Senate side, though Microsoft is still lobbying hard on this.
And, that brings us to the Senate side. While there's a bill out there, it's unclear when it'll actually come to the floor for a vote -- almost certainly not until next year. Plus there's still lots of lobbying against the whole thing, so this could collapse into nothing. But, in the short run, it's at least a big step towards stopping the worst patent trolls out there.