patent trolls

  • The Supreme Court And Your Software Patents

    The Supreme Court And Your Software Patents

    The Supreme Court recently issued its long-awaited opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, known more affectionately in many circles as the Supreme Court case deciding whether software is patentable. Although the Supreme Court did not tackle that broader question in its June 19 opinion, it did address whether CLS Corp. should be allowed to patent the concept of mitigating settlement… Read More

  • These Aren’t The Patent Trolls You’re Looking For

    These Aren’t The Patent Trolls You’re Looking For

    Over the past few years, the debate over so-called “patent trolls” has risen to a fever pitch. Businesses of all sizes have complained about the “horrible” effects of patent trolls. Legal scholars are performing studies to determine their impact. Every branch of the federal government has become involved in attempts to limit their efficacy: President Obama has… Read More

  • White House Unveils Patent Protections, Including Crowdsourcing, To Help Find Prior Claims

    White House Unveils Patent Protections, Including Crowdsourcing, To Help Find Prior Claims

    The White House isn’t waiting for Congress to enact new intellectual property laws. President Obama has made good on his promise to go after so-called “patent trolls,” businesses that hoard legal ownership over inventions but don’t actually produce products. The latest series of executive orders is aimed at helping small businesses fight patent lawsuits, give… Read More

  • Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s 43-Day Assault On The Patent Troll

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s 43-Day Assault On The Patent Troll

    NPEs (the bad ones) are undeniably a problem. By one estimate, companies that have been targeted by NPEs spend $29 billion a year in direct costs, with $83 billion a year in lost wealth, an amount that the authors concede is conservative. So Congressman Bob Goodlatte (D-Va.) took action. Read More

  • Ditto Defeats Patent Claim After Teaming Up With A ‘Troll’

    Ditto Defeats Patent Claim After Teaming Up With A ‘Troll’

    Earlier this year, I wrote about a startup called Ditto, which launched a campaign on Indiegogo to fund patent battles against 1-800-CONTACTS and Lennon Imaging Technology — or, as Ditto characterized it, to “save” the startup from “patent trolls.” Since then, Ditto’s story has taken a couple of turns. Over the summer, the company partnered with IPNav and… Read More

  • VC, Startup Survey Addresses Whether Patent Assertions Help Or Hurt, And What To Do If You Get Hit

    VC, Startup Survey Addresses Whether Patent Assertions Help Or Hurt, And What To Do If You Get Hit

    You have an idea for a product that is going to change the world. For years you work day and night, and over time, that hard work turns into a company. You have users, revenue and, finally, the business of your dreams. But as you get traction, you also have a patent troll letter. The timing couldn’t be worse. As you find yourself spending more and more time with lawyers and learning… Read More

  • Examining The Effects Of Patent-Troll Legislation On Startups

    Examining The Effects Of Patent-Troll Legislation On Startups

    Non-practicing entities (NPEs), or patent trolls, have largely stayed off the political radar for the 12 years since the term “patent troll” was coined. But the political winds have changed in the last year, as NPEs have now become a favorite whipping boy of Congress — and the president, the Federal Trade Commission, the State of Vermont and the International Trade Commission. Read More

  • Senator Charles Schumer Targets Patent Trolls, Wants USPTO To Review Infringement Suits Before They Head To Court

    Senator Charles Schumer Targets Patent Trolls, Wants USPTO To Review Infringement Suits Before They Head To Court

    Companies like Google, BlackBerry, Earthlink, Red Hat, and others in the tech community, have been piling pressure on the U.S. government to take a stronger stand against companies that file patent suits but don’t actually make any products themselves — known formally as “patent assertion entities” but more commonly as patent trolls and patent privateers (a term favored… Read More

  • Law Would Force Patent Trolls To Pay For Failed Lawsuits Against Innovators

    Law Would Force Patent Trolls To Pay For Failed Lawsuits Against Innovators

    America’s esteemed lawmakers want heavy penalties for those who abuse the patent system. A bipartisan bill has been proposed to force so-called patent trolls, those who hoard patents for the sole purpose of suing innovators, to pay the legal costs if their frivolous patent lawsuits fail in court. The Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act has been… Read More

  • Creator Of The X-Plane Flight Simulator Seeks Help Fighting A Patent Troll

    Creator Of The X-Plane Flight Simulator Seeks Help Fighting A Patent Troll

    Austin Meyer, creator of the popular and ultra-realistic flight sim X-Plane is facing a potentially destructive lawsuit by an East Texas patent troll, Uniloc. Meyer, who has worked on the simulator since 1995, isn’t dealing with a claim against his simulator or the game mechanics within. Instead, he’s being sued for using a simple copy-protection system found in almost all… Read More

  • Patent Trolls Eat Startups First. Here’s What You Can Do About It

    Patent Trolls Eat Startups First. Here’s What You Can Do About It

    Editor’s note: Leonid (“Lenny”) Kravets is a patent attorney at Panitch, Schwarze, Belisario and Nadel, LLP in Philadelphia, specializing in developing IP strategy for young technology companies. Patent assertion entities regularly engage in the practice of sending patent demand letters to unsuspecting startups and small businesses in preparation for going after much… Read More

  • 10 Ways Startups Can Deal With Patent Troll Demands

    10 Ways Startups Can Deal With Patent Troll Demands

    Editor’s note: Colleen V. Chien is an assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law. Stefani E. Shanberg is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. It’s no fun receiving a patent demand, but rest assured, you are not alone. When that dreaded “invitation to license” or, worse, “complaint” arrives at your doorstep, what should… Read More

  • Apple Made A Deal With The Devil (No, Worse: A Patent Troll)

    Apple Made A Deal With The Devil (No, Worse: A Patent Troll)

    Over the last two years, Apple has been engaged in vicious legal battles over smartphone patents, many of which are aimed at squelching (or squeezing money out of) manufacturers of devices running Android. And now, for some reason, it has given valuable patents to a patent troll — which is using them to sue many of the top technology companies in the world. Meet Digitude Innovations… Read More

  • The Terrible Cost Of Patents

    The Terrible Cost Of Patents

    The cost of patents is going up, and that is not a good thing. After all, Google is paying $12.5 billion for Motorola largely for its huge mobile patent portfolio. In July, an anti-Google consortium ponied up $4.5 billion Nortel’s patents (and they overpayed). Interdigital, Kodak, and others are looking to sell their patent portfolios. We are in the middle of a patent bubble. If… Read More

  • Today in Patent Trolls: Vuestar

    Today in Patent Trolls: Vuestar

    The internet has a few kinds of links, but the most common are text and image links. For example, I can link this image of VueStar’s logo: To a website featuring stuff on a cat (luckily I’m in a good mood or you guys would have been in for a surprise). It’s one of the backbones of our freedom. Sadly, VueStar patented a system for Method of locating web-pages by utilising… Read More