State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

Patent Troll Legislation: Grand Standing

The Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act was introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and co-sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).  This Bill is pure grandstanding.  If you read the actual Bill it adds little beyond the Rule 11 sanctions under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  The SHIELD Act states, “upon making a determination that the party alleging the infringement of the patent did not have a reasonable likelihood of succeeding, the court may award the recovery of full costs to the prevailing party, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than the United States.”

Congressman DeFazio’s grandstanding does match the facts.

“Patent trolls don’t create new technology and they don’t create American jobs,” DeFazio said in a news release. “They pad their pockets by buying patents on products they didn’t create and then suing the innovators who did the hard work and created the product.”

Does DeFazio mean that trolls are suing the inventors of the technology?  No those are the people who did the hard work and created the invention.  Those people who stole the invention did not do the hard work.

There are numerous problems with this Bill, including:

  • There is no logical reason to have a separate law for the computer industry as this Bill does.
  • The Bill in no way is directed toward so called Patent Trolls, it is directed to the computer and software industry.
  • The language of the Bill essentially says the same thing as FRCP Rule 11.
  • Inventors and investors who own patents and do not practice the invention, do create jobs and deserve to be paid every bit as much as the person who owns farmland and leases it out.

Congressman DeFazio and Chaffetz should be embarrassed by this obvious pandering to large computer and software companies.  These companies already forced the America Invents Act through Congress, which biased the patent system in favor of large companies and disadvantaged small inventors.  This proposed legislation embodies everything that is wrong with our country.  This is government for special interest groups at the expense of the people and the law. v


August 3, 2012 - Posted by | News, Patents | , ,

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