Political Parties Brought Together by Hatred of Patent Trolls
What's the one thing that can bring together both bickering political parties, consumer advocates and industry? Apparently it's patent trolls. Ars Technica notes
that a new bill by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) makes life much harder on patent trolls and is gathering steam, with broad support from both parties.
Ars notes the bill incorporates many things consumer advocates have been pushing for for quite some time, like holding patent trolls accountable for the check if it's found that their legal assault isn't on sound footing:
The bill would require patent holders to lay out details about their infringement case early in a lawsuit, and would require the loser of a patent suit to pay legal fees unless they could show that the case was "substantially justified." It would expand a program to allow for the review of "business method" patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office, a key request by CCIA that has not been without controversy. And the bill would also allow customers or end users of a technology to stay a lawsuit while the patent holder and the manufacturer battle it out.
While Ars notes the bill is "not perfect," it has broad approval from many consumer and digital rights groups including the EFF, who offer a good breakdown of what the bill does here
| || While I generally agree with you on this, you don't want the burden to be too high on plaintiffs, or the result could be that large companies could stomp all over individuals or small businesses that have legitimate patents, figuring that they won't be able to make the financial commitment to file suit.|
The real issue, IMHO, is that the USPTO grants far too many overbroad patents. This could be fixed in several ways. First, there need to be more and better-trained examiners. Second, any proposed patent that has gained preliminary approval should be placed on a Web site for public review and comment. That way, anyone who believes the patent is overbroad or covered by prior art can submit a response to the USPTO demonstrating why the patent shouldn't be granted. Those comments would then be kept with the patent, so, in case it is granted, and the whole thing ends up in court, they could be used as evidence.
As for copyright reform, I'm not sure that granting a character, film, book, etc. "iconic" status would be a good idea. That status would be ripe for abuse. Instead, grant copyrights for, say, 50 years, period. That's plenty of time for a company to make its money back and turn a profit.
Re: Patent reform
said by KrK:Well it's 95 now( or 70 years after the death of the creator if it's a not for hire work ). In other words if I write a book and self publish and I live to be 104( I'm 44 now ) The copyright would last until 2143. About the time my great-great-great grand kids are graduating college.
75 Years is way too long. 20 years tops.
As I said within the next 5 years look for Disney to propose extending copyright to 120 years.