The problem with fee shifting is that it won't matter. You can't get blood out of a turnip. If a patent troll loses a suit, all they have to do is hide their money in another shell company and all of a sudden, there's no money to pay the fee.
The problem of litigation cost recovery is a real one, and I agree with this guy:
"This problem (which applies whether you're suing or being sued) is one of the big reasons why the justice system is actually pretty sparing in terms of being able to deliver actual justice."
It does seem that the golden rule applies: He who has the gold makes the rules. But straight up shifting to a "loser pays" isn't going to help, in my opinion, because in the case of patent trolls they'll cry bankruptcy and you'll never see a dime.
"It's an important piece that chronicles the University of California's shift away from the pursuit and sharing of knowledge for the benefit of all humanity, to the monopolization of ideas and maximization of profits for a few privileged investors."
They're just doing what is profitable, and patent trolls have proven for over 10 years now that their business model is profitable...and growing.
"This is another good one. We've written a few times about the practice of some trolls to try to even keep their demands secret, such that many who receive demand letters don't know that they're one of a group -- and a group that might team up to fight back against bogus threats. Basically, it sounds like this might help lead to a "Chilling Effects" website for troll demands. That sounds quite useful"
Working on that now...http://www.thatpatenttool.com
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!
Maybe this is just Google's way of seeing who else will follow them and enact "defense-only" patent strategies? Start small and see who else blinks?
Of course, if everyone followed that then no one would sue the trolls would be forced back under the bridge where they belong. We all know that won't happen until it's fiscally debilitating for the trolls, by which I mean companies adopt an "always fight back" strategy or a collaborative defense strategy, used when the trolls sue multiple people at a time (even though they now have to do it on separate dockets, thank you AIA).
Wait...did I spell "debilitating" right?
Anyway, I don't think they'll open up the treaty beyond those patents and here's why:
These guys are a nightmare. Allow me to translate:
"IV has efficiently and effectively identified strong patents covering significant and relevant inventions, purchased those patents, and marketed and licensed them to companies who need them."
"IV has efficiently and effectively taken worthless patents covering completely nebulous ideas, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, and used them to shake down people who are actually making products."