“Patent Trolls” and Responses

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which prevents unfair business practices, published a study about patent assertion entities. Patent assertion entities or “patent trolls” are businesses that obtain patents to use them against alleged infringements; these entities are subject to much criticism. Such criticisms include they stifle innovation and are overly litigious. The study’s purpose was to propose reforms to PAEs’ problematic behaviour and it suggested initiatives like “sufficient notice” for complaints, requiring earlier disclosure and removing “simultaneous suits”. The FTC’s study pertaining to patent trolls and a recent judge’s statement supporting the elimination of software patents seem indicative of a growing trend- governmental answers to anti-patent arguments. It will be interesting if this trend continues.

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