We first reported on patent trolls about a year ago in a report titled "Patent Trolls have the Smartphone Industry in a State of Emergency," which covered an important study from the Boston University School of Law. The study found that "patent trolls" or "non-practicing entities (NPEs) cost the U.S. software and hardware companies US$29 billion in 2011. In May Apple's CEO Tim Cook pushed the patent troll issue with President Obama who has since called upon Congress to further assist US tech companies against this threat. Yesterday, one of the first blows against the patent troll industry were delivered.
According to a new Reuters report published today by Business Insider, "A U.S. trade panel that deals with patent infringement cases took a step on Monday that could rein in companies, often known as patent trolls, accused of embarking on frivolous litigation.
The International Trade Commission said it will soon require some complaining companies to prove upfront that they have a significant presence in the United States."
The report concluded that "The White House suggested recently that Congress change the ITC's statute so the same standard is used for rulings by the commission as in district courts."
For further details on this matter, read today's Business Insiders report titled "US Panel Deals A Big Blow To 'Patent Trolls.'
Apple is one of the largest targets for patent trolls and many of the legal cases brought against Apple could be found in our "Patently Legal" archives.