Feeds

Obama says patent trolls 'extort money', pledges reform

Presidential hangout touches on open internet, teaching kids to code

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

US President Barack Obama has used a “Fireside Hangout”, captured on YouTube, to label patent trolls as leeches who extort money from their victims.

Asked about the potential for patent trolls to hamper innovation, Obama said his administration's attempts at patent reform “only went about half way to where we need to go” and have not “captured all the problems”.

Among those problems are patent trolls, who “do not produce anything themselves” and are “trying to leverage and hijack someone else's idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.”

Changing laws to address this won't be simple, he said, as new legislation will need to balance the need for IP protection that encourages innovation. The President therefore said “we need to pull together additional stakeholders and see if we can build additional consensus on smarter patent laws.”

Obama also said he hopes to “ensure the internet stays open” so that entrepreneurs can enjoy low barriers to entry.

Elsewhere in the 47-minute chat, Obama revealed he has spoken with Mark Zuckerberg about the role of computers in schools and emerged agreeing with the Facebook CEO that it makes sense for kids to learn programming.

“I want to make sure they know how to actually produce stuff using computers, and not just consume stuff,” Obama said. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.