patent trolls

  • This 32-year-old state senator is trying to get patent trolls out of Massachusetts

    This 32-year-old state senator is trying to get patent trolls out of Massachusetts

    When the internet security company Cloudflare decided to engage in all-out war with what it views as a “dangerous new breed of patent troll,” it found a receptive audience with Eric Lesser, who became the youngest state senator in Massachusetts when elected to office in 2014. Senator Lesser, now a 32-year-old in his second two-year-term, was in the same Harvard fraternity as… Read More

  • The hunted becomes the hunter: How Cloudflare’s fight with a ‘patent troll’ could alter the game

    The hunted becomes the hunter: How Cloudflare’s fight with a ‘patent troll’ could alter the game

    Matthew Prince knew what was coming. The CEO of Cloudflare, an internet security company and content delivery network in San Francisco, was behind his desk when the emails began. College classmates-turned-defense attorneys were reaching out to say hello and to ask: did Prince perhaps need help to fight a lawsuit they’d seen filed against Cloudflare? Read More

  • Patent trolls take it on the chin in new Supreme Court ruling

    Patent trolls take it on the chin in new Supreme Court ruling

    Sad! Patent trolls, who’ve benefited from a 30-year-old legal standard that made it possible for patent holders to sue companies in almost any U.S. jurisdiction — including a federal district in east Texas that’s notorious for serving as a favorable venue for patent holders — just lost their ability to bring infringement lawsuits in such plaintiff-friendly places. Read More

  • Why we stepped up to the patent troll problem Crunch Network

    Why we stepped up to the patent troll problem

    Entrepreneurs don’t pour all their energy into building startups just to have a patent troll attack them with patents of questionable quality. The patent troll problem is big and growing, posing a threat to startups and established companies alike, costing companies millions in defensive litigation fees and diverting money that would be better spent on innovation. Read More

  • Evaluating IP infringement risks for designers and consumers of 3D printing services Crunch Network

    Evaluating IP infringement risks for designers and consumers of 3D printing services

    Incredible design and manufacturing capabilities are available to almost anyone right now, thanks to 3D printing services and the designers/makers who populate those services’ marketplaces with designs that are creative, original and/or functional. While we wait for the law to catch up to the technologies underlying 3D printing services, it makes sense to consider where the biggest IP… Read More

  • Why startups need a defensive IP strategy Crunch Network

    Why startups need a defensive IP strategy

    One of the things I really love about working with startup founders is that they are by nature an optimistic crowd: They set out to build amazing things, change the world and fundamentally shift the way people view things. What they often don’t realize, though, is that in the midst of brutal competition, the path to scale and success is often lined with unexpected co-travelers and events. Read More

  • As the smartphone wars reheat, the threat of chilling innovation looms Crunch Network

    As the smartphone wars reheat, the threat of chilling innovation looms

    Bill Gates recently penned an open letter to the 2016 presidential candidates, imploring them to support something he hopes “every candidate will agree on in November: America’s unparalleled capacity for innovation.” Politics aside, it’s hard to argue with his call to action. Read More

  • Why patent trolls won’t give up Crunch Network

    Why patent trolls won’t give up

    In Return of the Jedi, Yoda tells Luke “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.” Luckily for me, this didn’t apply to the patent world. I spent seven years on the “dark side” working for patent trolls before coming back to the light. Patent trolls are companies that derive all or almost all of their revenue… Read More

  • Innovation Act might be dead, but innovation lives on Crunch Network

    Innovation Act might be dead, but innovation lives on

    As a former patent examiner, I recognize that the patent system, in its purest form, should protect and incentivize innovation through a limited-term contract, offering exclusive monopoly rights covering a technology, product or design element. In practice, it’s much uglier, and by no means did the Founding Fathers intend for patents to be utilized toward incremental monopolization ploys. Read More

  • How Tech Can Shut Down Patent Trolls Crunch Network

    How Tech Can Shut Down Patent Trolls

    Patent trolls, more formally known as Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), pose a major threat to American businesses. A study published by the Boston University School of Law revealed that more than six times as many patent lawsuits are filed today as in 1980. More than 10,000 companies have been sued at least once by a PAE, and litigation by PAEs using acquired patents is increasing at an… Read More

  • The Basics Of Open Patent Licensing Crunch Network

    The Basics Of Open Patent Licensing

    A new trio of open patent licenses can help encourage innovation, reduce patent trolling, and help attract top engineering talent. These licenses aren’t just for idealistic hippies. They are legal tools that have been put into practice by software companies like Google, Twitter and Dropbox. Last month, I gathered a panel of experts at General Assembly in NYC to talk about open patent… Read More

  • The Supreme Court And Your Software Patents Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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 Crunch Network

    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