Trolling Effects Blog

Another Bill to Fix the Patent Troll Problem... Well, Part of It

Though it was paraded around as the biggest change to patent law in half a century, the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 failed to address many of the patent system's largest problems. In particular, patent trolls continue their deplorable business model of buying up patents and using the threat of litigation to force companies—frequently startups—to pay up or face ruinous legal fees.

App Developers: Lodsys is Back. It's Time to Beat this Troll.

It's been nearly two years since we first reported about Lodsys, the patent troll who targeted app developers. You might remember that Lodsys had actually filed lawsuits against some app developers in Texas; that case was (and is) slowly moving forward. We hadn't heard anything else from Lodsys in the meantime and assumed (foolishly, perhaps) that it was waiting to see what the judge said. This week, that all changed.

Patent Trolls on the Hot Seat

Today Congress heard overwhelming evidence about how patent trolls—companies that assert patents as a business model instead of creating products—are abusing the system to stifle innovation. At a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, witness after witness testified about patent trolls who use the threat of ruinous defense costs to pressure companies into paying settlements on vague and overbroad patents.

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