General Business Intellectual Property Elections & Politics

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Patent Troll Legislation: Oregon State Courts Curb Abuse of Patent Laws by NPEs

Patent trolls, or more politely, Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), are firms that collect “license” fees on patent rights by threatening lawsuits. Rarely do NPEs make any products, provide any services or operate any systems...more

Significant Legislation Affecting Business Passed by General Assembly

At the end of last week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed significant legislation affecting the State’s business legal climate. With large bipartisan majorities, the Legislature adopted Senate Bill 853 (SB 853),...more

Turning The Tide on “Trolls”

When a non-practicing entity (NPE) accused 16,000 small businesses of violating its patent by merely emailing scanned documents, the New York attorney general cracked down, forcing a settlement. Then the FTC threatened to sue...more

Uncertain Fate of Non-competes in Massachusetts: Senate Passes Compromise; Legislation Heads to Conference Committee Negotiations

On July 1, 2014 the Massachusetts Senate voted for a compromise on employee non-compete agreements, and the Joint Economic and Emerging Technology Committee heard testimony on the same issue. Governor Deval Patrick spurred...more

Patent Reform: It's Alive!

When Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on May 21 that he was pulling patent reform off the agenda of the Senate Judiciary Committee, commentators were quick to pass judgment: "Patent reform is dead." These reform...more

Update!—New TN Law Concerning Patent Infringement Allegations

In recent years, state legislatures have attempted to pass legislation regarding patent law – an area that the U.S. Constitution states is exclusively governed by federal law. The stated goal behind many of these laws is to...more

Why patent reform won’t wait for Congressional action

Last month, after repeated delays and countless compromises, Sen. Patrick Leahy took the Senate’s version of comprehensive patent reform legislation off the calendar — dashing the hopes of those seeking reform without even a...more

Weekly Update from the NC State House - June 2014: After giving its final approval to their version of the state budget just after...

Conflicting Budgets - After giving its final approval to their version of the state budget just after midnight Saturday morning, the Senate took a long weekend, not returning to Raleigh until Wednesday. The budget...more

Making a Federal Case Out of Trade Secret Misappropriation

NEWSFLASH-Congress may actually do something. There is talk of a bipartisan (you read that right, BIPARTISAN) bill to provide redress for trade secret theft in federal courts. Today trade secrets are the poor relations...more

Anti-Patent Troll Legislation Moves Forward in North Carolina

Just over a week into the new session of the North Carolina General Assembly, legislation aimed at the abusive assertion of patent infringement claims by “patent trolls” may be gaining traction, with a bill apparently headed...more

Weekly Update from the NC State House - May 2014: After a very busy first two days of session last week, the General Assembly...

Another Hectic Week - After a very busy first two days of session last week, the General Assembly returned to Raleigh this week with a fully packed agenda. Among other things, they took up fracking, regulatory reform,...more

Bad Times for Patent Trolls: What the Government Is Doing to Protect Small Businesses

Patent assertion entities—‘‘PAEs’’ or, if you are in a bad mood, ‘‘patent trolls’’—have been around in one form or another for decades. In the past few years, however, their ranks have grown. According to a U.S. Government...more

Patent Reform Legislation Off The Table -- For Now

Earlier today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, announced that he was taking the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720) off the Committee's agenda. He cited...more

“Patent Trolls” in the Crosshairs – But How Will Patent Reform Legislation Impact the Rest of Us

Both Congress and the White House have been actively pursuing patent litigation reform in an attempt to combat the perceived “patent troll” problem. Of course, any legislation will impact all patent holders, even though most...more

U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Abusive Patent Demand Letters

On April 8, 2014, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing “Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters.” The purpose of the hearing...more

What’s the best way to improve the odds in patent troll litigation?

One can hardly talk about the patent law or patent litigation anymore without addressing the issue of patent assertion entities (PAEs). PAEs develop nothing, make nothing, distribute nothing, and sell nothing. They exist to...more

Anti-Patent Troll Legislation: What is Proposed and What it Could Mean

Proposed patent legislation has been causing a stir at both the federal and state levels recently. In an effort to curb infringement litigation initiated by non-practicing entities, often referred to as "patent trolls,"...more

Stopping Bad Legislation -- The Innovation Alliance Speaks Out

On the day before the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up S. 1720 (The Patent Transparency and Improvements Act), the Innovation Alliance delivered a letter to Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Grassley...more

Stopping Bad Patents -- Senator Schumer Takes on the "Patent Trolls"

In what turned out not to be an April Fools' Day joke, Senator Charles Schumer (at right) of New York participated earlier today in a Google+ Hangout sponsored by the Internet Association. According to their website, this...more

Looking Upstream: Weighing Proposed Changes To Customer Stays In Patent Litigation*

At a time when congressional partisanship is the norm, curbing lawsuits filed by nonpracticing entities (NPEs) may be one of the few issues uniting Washington. Over the past year, both Republicans and Democrats introduced...more

Senate Legislation Update -- The Commerce Committee Gets in the Act

Last Thursday, Sen. McCaskill, along with Sen. Rockefeller, introduced the "Transparency in Assertion of Patents Act" (S. 2049). Of course, several other bills are currently pending in the Senate that have been introduced by...more

White House Announces Executive Actions Designed to Combat Patent Trolls

Last week, the White House announced new executive actions characterized as initiatives “to combat patent trolls and further strengthen our patent system and foster innovation.” This marks a continuation of the White House’s...more

White House Seeks to Promote Transparency Concerning Patent Ownership

Last week, the Obama Administration announced "major progress on a series of initiatives designed to combat patent trolls and further strengthen our patent system and foster innovation" (see "The White House Releases Update...more

MBHB Snippets: Review of Developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 12, Issue 1 (Winter 2014): “Patent Trolls” Beware –...

If the mainstream media is to be believed, the patent system is now “broken.” This notion is frequently blamed on the perceived increase in so-called patent assertion entities (“PAEs”), referred to derogatorily in the press...more

For Whom the Bell Trolls

Government efforts to block patent troll activity gained momentum this summer, as the White House issued five executive orders and members of Congress fielded no fewer than five bills aimed at such issues as patent quality...more

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