Trolling Effects Blog
In the midst of a tidal wave of momentum in the fight against patent trolls, we're proud to launch Trolling Effects (trollingeffects.org), a resource to empower would-be victims of patent trolls through a crowdsourced database of patent demand letters and a clearinghouse for information on the troll epidemic.
Traditionally, D.C. slows down over the summer months. This year, that is not the case with patent reform. Two new bills have already been introduced since Congress returned from its July 4th recess.
The first, a comprehensive bill called the Patent Litigation and Innovation Act, was introduced by Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). It includes many of the types of reforms we've been talking about, such as:
This weekend, the New York Times published a fascinating portrait of Erich Spangenberg of IPNav, who has been called one of "one of the most notorious patent trolls in America." In the past five years, IPNav has sued 1,638 companies.
A growing number of independent game developers have received demand letters from Treehouse Avatar Technologies for allegedly violating patent 8,180,858, a "Method and system for presenting data over a network based on network user choices and collecting real-time data related to said choices." Essentially, this patent covers creating a character online, and having the game log how many times a particular character trait was ch
The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it stands ready to take on patent trolls. In a speech at the National Press Club, Commissioner Edith Ramirez made two big announcements. First, she revealed that the FTC will conduct a wide-ranging investigation into the conduct of patent trolls. Second, she confirmed that, when appropriate, the FTC is committed to using its antitrust enforcement powers. This is great news for innovation and very bad news for trolls.
Frustration with patent trolls, and momentum for reform, has been building for some time now. Today, the stakes got even higher when the White House announced that it was actively taking on the troll problem. This is big news, and not just because of the seven legislative proposals the White House recommends (more on those below).
The patent troll problem is not new. Trolls have been targeting companies large and small for some time, dragging productive businesses into court and extorting licensing fees that have become a nearly unavoidable tax on innovation. This is wrong.
There is exciting news out of the Green Mountain State this week: folks in Vermont are so fed up with patent troll abuse that they are taking matters into their own hands. With trolls filing thousands of lawsuits every year and blanketing the country in threat letters, states are looking for ways to protect victims—especially small entities that lack the resources to defend against a patent suit. Vermont is tackling trolls on two separate fronts.