In December Congress overwhelmingly passed the "Innovation Act" bill aimed at discouraging frivolous lawsuits by patent holders. The move was backed by companies like Apple, IBM, Cisco and Google. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte sponsored the bill which won strong bipartisan support in passing by a 325-91 vote. We're now learning that the Senate Bill Targeting Patent Trolls is on the Fast Track.
On the February 15 we reported that IPCom who was suing Apple for US$2.2 billion dollars was seeking documents from Apple in a California Subpoena. It was reported at the time that Samsung and Google lawyers were to represent the licensing firm against Apple. Well, that didn't help any being that the German Court threw out the case today finding that there was no infringement.
More than 100,000 companies were threatened in 2012 alone with infringement suits by businesses whose sole mission is to extract royalty revenue, according to a White House report. Those entities, called pejoratively "patent trolls" by critics, filed 19 percent of all patent lawsuits from 2007 to 2011, according to the Government Accountability Office. In December, the U.S. overwhelmingly passed the "Innovation Act" against patent trolls. Today in Washington, the justices debated how best to deter meritless suits as they weighed in on the rules that govern fee awards in patent litigation. Apple and Google are among the companies urging the court to lower the bar for fee awards.
Yesterday we reported on Apple still being one of the top targets of Patent Trolls and today we're learning that New York State is stepping up their war against Patent Trolls as well. The Wall Street Journal confirms today that New York's attorney general is joining the likes of Apple, Google, Congress and the White House in their battle against Patent Trolls.
On December 5, 2013, The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the "Innovation Act" bill aimed at discouraging frivolous lawsuits by patent holders. The move was backed by companies like Apple, IBM, Cisco and Google. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte won strong bipartisan support in passing by a 325-91 vote. At the time, Goodlatte stated that the bill "takes meaningful steps to address the abusive practices that have damaged our patent system and resulted in significant economic harm to our nation." In 2013 Non Practicing Entities (NPEs) filed a total of 3,134 patent lawsuits against global technology firms, up 18 percent from 2,652 cases tallied a year earlier, the data also showed. The latest statistics once again reveal that Apple remained one of the top targets of patent trolls in 2013.
The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the "Innovation Act" bill on Thursday aimed at discouraging frivolous lawsuits by patent holders. The move wasbacked by companies like Apple, IBM, Cisco and Google. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte sponsored the bill which won strong bipartisan support in passing by a 325-91 vote. Goodlatte said his bill "takes meaningful steps to address the abusive practices that have damaged our patent system and resulted in significant economic harm to our nation."
In case you didn't already know this, Apple is still the number one target of patent trolls. These entities, who prefer to be called Non-Practicing-Entities (NPEs), are wreaking havoc in the tech sector. A recently published study provides us with a clear view of the top NPE targets and Apple clearly tops that chart. According to this new study, these "villain-ized" patent trolls have filed more than 11,000 actions since 1985.
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.
At the conclusion of many of our legal related reports we make note that "A 2011 study showed that Patent Trolls cost tech companies $29 Billion and a 2012 study made the case that patent trolling was out of control." We do this because Apple is one of the top targets of these patent trolls. While I'm sure that there are some in the patent troll community that are legitimate IP defenders for the smaller developer taking on the larger corporations, studies have confirmed that there's another distinct class of patent trolls that are just in it for the money, period. They hunt down and pay for patents for one purpose alone: to hold companies like Apple ransom. These specialized law and IP firms have no intention of ever making a product; it's just about how much they can rake in with licensing fees by arguing the tiniest of "patent claim" to death. Companies like Apple can't counter sue because these companies make nothing. So the law is slanted in the patent trolls favor. Tech companies have complained for years about the growing menace that these patent trolls are causing their businesses and it now appears that President Obama is going to push for yet tougher legislation in an effort to slow down patent trolling that is now out of control in the US.
According to a study from the Boston University School of Law, patent litigation caused by "non-practicing entities" (NPEs), better known as "patent trolls," cost U.S. software and hardware companies US$29 billion in 2011. NPEs are individuals and firms that own patents but do not directly use their patented technology to produce goods or services and instead assert their patent rights against companies that do. Patent litigation costs to technology companies from NPE lawsuits have dramatically risen from $6.7 billion in 2005 to $12.6 billion in 2008 and more than $29.2 billion in 2011. The report goes on to state that "The rapid growth and high cost of NPE litigation documented here should set off an alarm warning to policy makers…" Well, it certainly has in Korea. A new report published today indicates that the domestic smartphone industry has indeed pressed the panic button to set off the alarm regarding the damage that patent trolls are exacting on their industry.