Feeds

US House and Senate push patent troll bills

Congress looks into ways to curb abusive IP litigation

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The US House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee has voted 33-5 to send a bill to the full House that aims to stop abusive patent lawsuits and so-called patent trolls.

The panel approved the measure yesterday that particularly hopes to put a stop to patent-holding firms whose only purpose is to aggressively pursue litigation and licensing fees.

Earlier this year, the White House asked Congress to do something about abusive patent lawsuits, particularly those in the technology sector. The reform bill, known as the Innovation Act, was introduced by committee chairman Bob Goodlatte in response.

Goodlatte said yesterday that abusive intellectual property litigation was dragging on the economy.

"Everyone from independent inventors, to startups, to mid- and large-sized businesses face this constant threat," he said.

"The tens of billions of dollars spent on settlements and litigation expenses associated with abusive patent suits represent truly wasted capital – wasted capital that could have been used to create new jobs, fund R&D, and create new innovations and technologies that promote the progress of science and useful arts.

"Within the past couple years we have seen an exponential increase in the use of weak or poorly granted patents to send out purposely evasive blanket demand letters or file numerous patent infringement lawsuits against American businesses with the hopes of securing a quick payday."

Internet and tech companies including Cisco, Google and Apple are supporting the Goodlatte bill.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee is also working on the patent troll issue and senators Patrick Leahy (D, VT) and Mike Lee (R, UT) have introduced a bill that seeks more transparency and other improvements to patent legislation.

The Act, which is different to the House bill although it's aimed at the same target, would force patent-holders to disclose ownership when they sued and let manufacturers step into lawsuits to protect their customers from accusations of infringement.

"When small businesses in Vermont and across the country are threatened with lawsuits for offering Wi-Fi to their customers or using document scanners in their offices, we can all agree the system is not being used as intended," Leahy said when introducing the bill on Monday. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.