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Patent Trolls & Detractors @ FTC

Patent trolls and those who hate them square off at the FTC - Dec 11, 2012:

The one branch of the government that seems to have shown some concern about the phenomenon of so-called "patent trolls" is the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has taken to calling the trolls Patent Assertion Entities, or PAEs.

On Monday, the FTC hosted a most unusual gathering. Some of the biggest names in patent-trolling were invited to talk about their business—and they actually showed up, including patent-holding giant Intellectual Ventures. Critics of trolls, from both academia and the corporate world, were also in attendance to make sure the government heard their views on the issue.

Professor Collen Chien of Santa Clara University kicked off the session with a remarkable statistic: in 2012, patent trolls have brought the majority of the patent lawsuits in the US, filing 2,530 lawsuits through December 1.

And for some tech companies, trolls are virtually 100% of the litigation.

One thing that pretty much everyone agreed on is that the number of disputes is increasing, and they don't seem to be going anywhere.

FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz emphasized at the beginning of the session that his agency is in a learning mode; we're unlikely to see actions over patent trolls anytime soon.

However, the FTC has been unable to use antitrust law to hit back against patent monopolies even in more straightforward situations, like so-called "pay-for-delay" deals where branded drug companies have actually paid generics to stay off the market. It seems unlikely that US antitrust enforcers are going to be pounding on the doors of the nation's patent trolls anytime soon; but they at least seem to be aware of the business.

An interesting read.


Otego, NY
Oldest and most widespread scam by the FTC.

Make bold headlines.

Keep your name up in lights.

Justify your existence.

Probably ramped up by the elections.

Reasoned, if the suckers fell for that,

no need to actually accomplish anything.

In America, you get exactly what you ask for,

and deserve.
"But the world is full of annoyances; if we killed all of our annoyances, there would be nobody left" - John McAfee


1 edit
reply to FF4m3
It's the US Patent Office (USPO), who created "patent trolls". If USPO indiscriminately accepts everything and registers it as a patent, they make more money for themselves. But, at the same time and by doing so, they create conditions for future disputes over those so called "patents". Those lawsuits benefit USPO directly by forcing other companies (in order to protect their businesses from potential lawsuits they see are growing in volumes) to participate in the process of patenting everything around, even if it should not be patentable in any way in the first place. As a result, we see patents for "electronic devices with round corners" and other similar, extremely low quality "patents" being registered...

US Patent Office has obvious conflict of interests by making money from selling registering patents. They don't do their main job (filtering out what should not be patentable and registering only real patents), but they rather are making money form the number of patents registered and, therefore, they facilitate the increase of that number, no matter what...

Now, can FTC recognize that?
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

Built for Speed
Fort Wayne, IN
·Frontier Communi..
reply to FF4m3
Heh... it would be fascinating to see what would happen in the patent realm if the US Patent Office was paid on the basis of applications rejected. A 180-degree turn, perhaps? (Not that it would be a good answer to the problem... just that it would clearly illuminate the real cause-effect processes at work within that office.)
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville

Then we'd finally discover the value of real patents, not the imitations, like we see in vast majority now... The emphasis should be on quality, not on the number of registered patents. It's the only solution, that I can see now.
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...