Patent Reform

Patent Bill H.R.9 Called Innovation Death Trap

Silicon Valley Icon Issues Broadside Against Industry-Backed Troll Bill

It’s about time. Another voice in the innovation community has risen to counter the repetitive arguments of those favoring legislation to curb the purportedly diabolical actions of patent trolls. I’m looking forward to hearing more such voices.

Bob Pavey, Silicon Valley icon and partner emeritus at venture capital firm Morgenthaler Ventures, isn’t buying the rhetoric. Check out his sober opinion piece in the San Jose Mercury News on the march toward passing H.R.9, the “anti-troll” bill now out of committee and to be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives. read more


Patents in a Post-Alice World

Thoughts on Reports from IPBC Global in San Francisco

Intellectual Asset Management is today reporting on its blog on subjects near and dear to all of us: IP value, software patents in our “tricky” new era, legislation that could affect litigation, the environment post-Alice, and more.

Most interesting to me were the reports from Joff Wild, including on what Rockstar Consortium’s John Veschi said about software patents at SCOTUS: read more


The Thirty-Nine Steps

Is Bulk Cross-Licensing Moving Towards a Non-Compete?

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”  John Buchan

The war on patent assertion entities continues. Sometimes it’s just rhetoric, sometimes it’s real.

Two days ago the Oregon state legislature introduced a measure to curb the most egregious types of patent trolling: dunning letters threatening legal actions if small businesses don’t pay a licensing fee. It’s the same type of provision—essentially a consumer and business protection law—as has been proposed in Vermont and Nebraska. We’ll keep an eye on what happens. Rampant “demand-letter trolling” deserves to be slammed. read more


Patent Troll Sues FTC. Doomed To Fail?

The general feeling among attorneys is that MPHJ Technology Investments LLC’s recently filed lawsuit against the Federal Trade Commission is doomed. This at least according to a recent piece in Law360.

MPHJ, you will remember, is truly the troll’s troll. It sues young and old, thin and not-so thin, for-profit and not-so-for-profit to assert its rights in scanner technologies. It has provoked the righteous indignation of attorneys-general in Nebraska and Vermont, and has even irked POTUS. read more


Federal Circuit Decisions Present Challenges to Innovators

What is the business of the Federal Circuit? What should it be? And how do decisions at the CAFC—and wider developments in patent law—affect America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace?

From the day of its inception in October of 1982, the role and rulings of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a court of limited subject matter jurisdiction but a nationwide reach, have been the subject of much debate. read more


A Court Divided, A Delicate Position for Innovation

“My learned lord, we pray you to proceed
And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salique that they have in France
Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim….”

Wm. Shakespeare, The Historie of Henry V

 At the beginning of Shakespeare’s Henry V, young King Henry is looking for a pretext upon which to invade France. read more


Anti-‘Patent Troll’ Bill Worrisome, Says FCBA

Law360’s Lynne Chiem is reporting today on the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s lack of comfort with the proposed legislation seeking to combat so-called patent trolls, in Fed. Circ. Bar Says Anti-‘Patent Troll’ Bill Worrisome.

I’m a member of the FCBA and I share the discomfort. The Association’s letter to Reps. Goodlatte and Conyers is overdue. It’s not the place of Congress to get involved with the conduct of Article III courts, and the courts have tools to address abusive litigation. read more


Former Chief Judge at Federal Circuit Issues Warning

Former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul Michel is concerned about the pending legislative actions intended to curb the actions of so-called “patent trolls.”

Check out this news piece on

The Federal Circuit under Judge Michel achieved a measured and thoughtful approach to patent appeals—and a deep appreciation for the importance of innovation in American business. read more


What’s the Right Way to Combat Patent Trolls?

A worthwhile perspective from Michael M. Rosen in The American magazine, a publication of the American Enterprise Institute. Rosen, an attorney, notes among other things:

[A]nti-troll forces have fought back in the courts, state legislatures, and Congress, all in an effort to defang the beast. But while some of these measures are appropriate, others go too far. read more