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On September 17, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bi-partisan federal Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 5233, which we previously wrote about when introduced in July, 2014 by North Carolina...more
Congress has taken another step toward enactment of federal civil trade secrets legislation. On September 17, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R.5233, the Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, with a single...more
Oregon introduces bill to make improper patent license demands a violation of its unlawful trade practices law -
In February 2014, Senate Bill 1540 was filed, which would make patent trolling a violation of the...more
The North Carolina General Assembly recently passed a bill aimed at the abusive assertion of patents. It was part of the Commerce Protection Act of 2014 (S 648, S.L. 2014-110, section 2.1) and was signed into law by Governor...more
Disputes regarding trade secrets and corporate espionage are becoming perpetual fixtures in the news. One of the most common scenarios is that a key employee departs to join a competitor and his or her former employer quickly...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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