New bipartisan bill could squash the widely-hated patent troll industry for good | The Verge

New bipartisan bill could squash the widely-hated patent troll industry for good | The Verge.

It appears that today U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia introduced a piece of legislation to broad bi-partisan support which is aimed squarely at cutting down on the number of frivolous and abusive patent suits which are roiling the technology industry.

 

The proposed legislation would  institute a “loser pays” system for attorneys’ fee awards, would delay burdensome discovery requests until the court has first interpreted the disputed patent, and would increase transparency of patent ownership (curtailing patent troll’s favored M.O. of using multiple shell companies to hide behind and/or use a fronts in patent litigation).

 

This proposed litigation, while not necessarily a panacea for the the intelelctual property problems currently facing companies in the technology industry, would certainly go a long way to curb some of the more egregious and abusive tactics currently being utilized by non-practicing entities (a/k/a patent trolls).

 

It will be interesting to see if this bill will actually be passed into law. Here’s to hoping!

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Analytics Frim Outs Intellectual Ventures Shell Companies

Interesting….

Gigaom

Patent troll king Intellectual Ventures is notorious not only for its size but also for the invisible way it stalks its victims. That could change, however, thanks to a crowd-sourced project that will identify the shell companies that IV uses as tentacles.

For the unfamiliar, IV is the dark empire of Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft (s msft) executive who gamed the patent system by amassing tens of thousands of often-flimsy patents and then threatening to sue everyone in sight. IV and other trolls have reportedly drained $500 billion from the economy and created widespread disenchantment with America’s patent policies.

While IV has been at this for years, its activities are often undetected thanks to a clever use of a reported 1,300 shell companies. This means that the start-ups and tech companies who receive “pay-up-or-else” letters for using things like emoticons are confronted by patent owners with futuristic names…

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Patent Troll Claims it Owns Patent on GPS – Sues FourSquare

Sigh!

Gigaom

A Nevada-based shell company has filed a lawsuit against Foursquare, claiming the popular app is violating two patents that cover familiar navigation features.

In a complaint filed Wednesday in Las Vegas, Silver State Intellectual Technologies Inc asked for an injunction and damages related to U.S .Patent 7475057 (“System and method for user navigation”) and U.S. Patent 7343165 (“GPS Publication Application Server”).

Both patents describe the process of pushing information from a remote server to a user based on the location of that user and show diagrams like this one:

Silver State’s short legal filing (embedded below) doesn’t describe how exactly Foursquare infringed on the patent. The popular app relies on location tracking technology to offer a service that lets users and their friends “check in” to restaurants, merchants and other physical locations.

The lawsuit comes at a time when so-called patent trolls like Silver State have become aggressive about suing promising young…

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NTP settles e-mail patent suit with Google, Apple, Microsoft and others | Mobile – CNET News

NTP settles e-mail patent suit with Google, Apple, Microsoft and others | Mobile – CNET News.

While the details of the settlement have not been made public, it appears likely that the value of the settlement is significant, given the fact that RIM’s settlement with NTP over the same patents a few short years ago was worth over $600M.

IT is worth noting that NTP is not a garden variety NPE/Troll. NTP’s founder, Thomas Campana, actually developed the e-mail technology which forms the basis of the patent litigation back in 1991.

It will be interesting to see what NTP does with its increasing riches. Will it invest in technology or will it be drawn into the role of the NPE/Troll. Only time will tell.