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House OKs bill to stop frivolous patent lawsuits

  • The House has overwhelmingly passed legislation designed to discourage patent trolls from filing frivolous lawsuits by requiring them to disclose more information about who owns the IP involved and so who would ultimately benefit.
  • The measure, known as the Innovation Act, also requires judges to decide early on in the proceedings of a case whether a patent is valid, thereby potentially saving companies money on discovery.
  • The legislation now needs authorization in the Senate.
  • Patent companies include Vringo (VRNG), Wi-LAN (WILN) and Acacia Research (ACTG).
Comments (18)
  • Rick Berger
    , contributor
    Comments (1021) | Send Message
     
    Gotta wonder how this will affect some pending suits that have yet to have their Markman. I sense more delays & red tape.
    It's not enough my health insurance has tripled; now this.

     

    Presidents should be limited to one term in office.
    6 Dec 2013, 06:26 AM Reply Like
  • SimonSaysWin
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, anti patent troll legislation is really going to create a huge amount of red tape that is going to make your life so hard!
    6 Dec 2013, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • tqreidy
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I bet your health insurance hasn't tripled.
    7 Dec 2013, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • yvette.grier
    , contributor
    Comments (154) | Send Message
     
    Limited to one office term AND prohibited from from interfering with the natural flow of business.

     

    I never cease to be amazed by how "common and obvious" this President is
    6 Dec 2013, 07:06 AM Reply Like
  • yvette.grier
    , contributor
    Comments (154) | Send Message
     
    Is the "decide early" going to be subjective? Or are there specific time frames outlined with built in repercussions for not adhering to them?
    6 Dec 2013, 07:08 AM Reply Like
  • SaltyDog62
    , contributor
    Comments (711) | Send Message
     
    I guess the VRNG longs will be waiting for that payday a while longer...
    6 Dec 2013, 07:31 AM Reply Like
  • yvette.grier
    , contributor
    Comments (154) | Send Message
     
    @SaltyDog62,

     

    Why is that?
    6 Dec 2013, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • SaltyDog62
    , contributor
    Comments (711) | Send Message
     
    Endless delays on JJ ruling, and now this legislation pending. Seems that will provide some headwinds. But that is JMO.
    6 Dec 2013, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • imac007
    , contributor
    Comments (461) | Send Message
     
    If find it astonishing that the largest patent holding companies are not listed here. Google, Apple, SAP, Microsoft, in fact, some of the companies accused the most of violating and have too vague of patent claims, somehow miss being put under the microscope. The problem isn't with the companies. The USPO and non-expert regulation oversight are the culprit.

     

    Some industries get expert oversight, like the FDA. Regulators enforcing compliance, for example for the EPA, also have experts providing oversight. They bring legal experts to advise on legal remedies, after experts determine infringement.

     

    Technology patents somehow are left with soccer moms, retired plumbers, clerks, salesmen etc. plus patent law experts to provide technical expertise oversight. For example, the little old lady who can't program her pvr, is going to be part of a jury, to determine if digital television patents Wilan claimed on her tv have been violated.

     

    To help, a pretrial hearing is held. A judge takes a patent and tries to determine the central issues in the claim. He attempts to find the key terms of the patent and interpret the legal language surrounding the suit. The judge is the legal oversight for the case and saves the jury from interpretation of legal language. The interpreted meaning of a term can determine the outcome and many cases never get to court because a judge decides to interpret a word that favors one party over the other.

     

    This Act wants to expand the scope of a judge to including patent validity. It's like asking the hospital's lawyer to break the tie between two doctors who disagree on a diagnosis.

     

    Previously an inexpert panel, a jury, have been breaking the tie. This just moves the decision from a panel of the ignorant to a single ignorant soul. And, it's not their fault, that they are ignorant.

     

    What is the role of the Patent Office if not to determine patent validity? Do they let drug companies make a claim, then determine after the fact if it is legitimate? No. A panel of experts decide, in advance. Protection against infringement is swift and truly protects the holder.

     

    Patents are designed to allow the holder to establish market share for their idea, recover R&D, initially in a limited monopoly. When companies like Samsung and Google are allowed to make ignoring and blatantly infringing patents, part of business strategy, the system is flawed. When litigation costs just become part of doing business to deny competitors their monopoly, their profit margins, and their due market share, what good is the patent system?

     

    The system is bogged down, not by claims, but by needing enough time to educate the ignorant to expert status to judge those claims.
    This part of the system has been turned upside down. And this is just one area in which it is broken. This is like offering another antibiotic instead of addressing the source of the infection.
    6 Dec 2013, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • SaltyDog62
    , contributor
    Comments (711) | Send Message
     
    You forget the golden rule. He who has the gold (GOOG, MSFT, APPL) get to make (influence) the rules. Fair or not, that is reality.
    6 Dec 2013, 09:39 AM Reply Like
  • normandemma@hotmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    Just the same old, same old. The guys with the most money to buy are government guys get laws made for their convienence. One term for every one. No one needs to be re-elected,simple
    6 Dec 2013, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • Jonathan Bluhm
    , contributor
    Comments (394) | Send Message
     
    I gave up on Vringo a while ago, sold all my VRNG shares in favor of (DSS) earlier this year - a much better managed company with underlying core business aspects, not simply a patent troll. Have much more experience and successful record of taking on patent infringement lawsuits and winning. Read my full take on them here: http://seekingalpha.co...
    6 Dec 2013, 08:12 AM Reply Like
  • Justin Giles
    , contributor
    Comments (1530) | Send Message
     
    Jonathon,

     

    "I gave up on Vringo a while ago, sold all my VRNG shares in favor of (DSS) earlier this year - a much better managed company with underlying core business aspects, not simply a patent troll."

     

    Why do you believe Vringo is a patent troll?
    6 Dec 2013, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • Shedee
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    I think this should not affect VRNG much, at least in it's already running lawsuits. As far as I know In case of Google case (+MSFT) both patents are owned by VRNG and both were already found valid.
    6 Dec 2013, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • Bad Banker
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    From those (inventors) according to their ability to those (GOOG, APPL, IBM, ETC) according to their needs.
    6 Dec 2013, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • Yorick
    , contributor
    Comments (498) | Send Message
     
    If anything it may speed up takeover of the proven companies like VRNG and VHC...MSFT (NOK), ALU and a bunch of others can bring them in house to defend their tens of thousands of patents...
    6 Dec 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • normandemma@hotmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    I am just an everyday small investor .When you see the government do the job that they have little or no ability to act with know how ,it goes back to the main problem.The big guy, has the money to buy the vote, the, lobby gang, ex-government officials who now give tons of money to get our Government to do there dirty work .
    6 Dec 2013, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • Bad Banker
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    This looks like it can be a net positive for companies like VRNG.

     

    They have the means and the ability and the legal team to help small patent holders to evaluate, protect and prosecute infringer. If this bill passes into law smaller companies will need to turn to either law firms willing to take cases on a contingency basis or a VRNG. VRNG's business model is already heading this way with their NOK "partnership" and just announce deal with ALU.
    6 Dec 2013, 04:01 PM Reply Like
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