Patent Troll Bill Consideration Starting March 27th

Patent trolls have drawn a heated debate within the intellectual property community. The Senate Judiciary Committee has set to hear and consider the patent reform legislation on March 27th, 2014. The Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013, which was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), “would require plaintiffs who file a patent case to disclose their beneficial owners using a standard already adopted by federal courts.” John Dwyer, the president/CEO of the $979 million New England Federal Credit Union states that “[t]he provision would clarify that the Federal Trade Commission has enforcement authority over patent trolls that operate in unfair or deceptive ways, but it does not provide the FTC with the ability to make rules in this area.”
Patent trolls seek out and purchase strategic broad patents and look for other companies to sue for using the technology that is patented. “The average legal cost of fighting a patent challenge for a small firm is about $500,000” and can be overwhelming to many small companies and thus, most are forced to settle, even when they know they did not infringe or that the patent was invalid. Hopefully, the Committee hearing will result in a step forward towards more efficient combat against patent abuse.