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(EFF)   New bipartisan legislation introduced to discourage patent trolls, much in the same way having their feet nailed to the ground with large metal spikes might discourage them from going for a brisk walk   (action.eff.org) divider line 62
    More: Cool, non-practicing entity  
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8241 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Oct 2013 at 8:00 PM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-10-24 06:05:44 PM
"Bipartisan" is a nice sounding word, but this is more important: introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The chairman's bill will see favorable treatment.

Fee shifting: The bill allows for a court to require the loser in a patent case to pay the winning side's fees and costs. This makes it harder for trolls to use the extraordinary expense of patent litigation to force a settlement.

I thought that was already the law: optional fee shifting. Loser pays makes it hard for small parties to take on big ones, because the big one can run up expenses and bankrupt the small one by winning even a nominal judgment, like $3 plus attorney's fees.

Transparency: The bill includes strong language requiring patent trolls to reveal the parties that would actually benefit from the litigation (called the real party in interest). Also, if the plaintiff is a shell-company patent troll, the defendant could require the real party in interest to join the litigation, forcing them to pay up if the patent troll can't or won't pay.

I like the first part because we can mock the rich guy hiding in his fortress of shellitude. I really like the second part because shell corporations have so far been able to get all the benefit with negligible risk. Righthaven, for example, went bankrupt while its owners were not at risk beyond their initial investment.
 
2013-10-24 06:13:14 PM
Huh, it actually looks like a good bill.

FTFA: The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Howard Coble (R-NC), Peter Defazio (D-OR), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Tom Marino (R-PA), and George Holding (R-GA).

I'm surprised to see so many Republicans signed on to something that makes sense, especially Farenthold, he's usually way out in teabagger lala land.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-10-24 06:23:19 PM
TuteTibiImperes

Patent trolls are bad for business. Even if there are rich lawyers making contributions on behalf of patent trolls, there are rich businessmen making contributions on behalf of regular businesses. Imagine there is a patent for sending bits over wires. That patent, enforced, would ruin Cisco. If IBM has the patent Cisco cross licenses its own portfolio and the CEOs go golfing later. If some troll has the patent Cisco has to pay blackmail.
 
2013-10-24 06:32:58 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Huh, it actually looks like a good bill.


^ My first impression as well.

I want to see the fine print, but what I see so far is very fine.
 
2013-10-24 07:41:38 PM

Marcus Aurelius: TuteTibiImperes: Huh, it actually looks like a good bill.

^ My first impression as well.

I want to see the fine print, but what I see so far is very fine.


Agreed.  I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop to see how they managed to fark it up in the fine print.

/Cynic
 
2013-10-24 08:06:01 PM
Would be nice if they get this right. I'm not a troll and my patent application had first refusal based on items like "because toxic waste is contained in xyz this is too close so bad kitty"

They actually get bonuses on saying no. My guess is the trolls are paying examiner xyz and get them every time and examiner xyz is all like "what, no $500.00 bonus, damn. Now watch me spend my 10k buyout"
 
2013-10-24 08:06:09 PM
Enough large metal spikes would probably discourage them from filing patent lawsuits too.  I say we try it.
 
2013-10-24 08:10:41 PM

Marcus Aurelius: TuteTibiImperes: Huh, it actually looks like a good bill.

^ My first impression as well.

I want to see the fine print, but what I see so far is very fine.


Obamacare is repealed
 
2013-10-24 08:10:43 PM
Hasn't got a chance in hell of passing.

CISPA will probably pass first.
 
2013-10-24 08:13:07 PM

Slackfumasta: Hasn't got a chance in hell of passing.


It'll pass but not before it's fundamentally altered to protect the interests of the Googles and Microsofts at the expense of the smaller IP holders.
 
2013-10-24 08:14:12 PM

Emposter: Enough large metal spikes would probably discourage them from filing patent lawsuits too.  I say we try it.


Should at least slow them down.
 
2013-10-24 08:14:25 PM
I might be idealistic, but it looks like it takes assholes just slightly worse than child molesters to bring the parties together.
 
2013-10-24 08:16:49 PM
Heightened Pleading:The bill requires patent holders to provide basic details (such as which patents and claims are at issue, as well as what products allegedly infringe and how) when it files a lawsuit.

Definitely good. I hope it has more teeth than it sounds like, like specificity.

Fee shifting:The bill allows for a court to require the loser in a patent case to pay the winning side's fees and costs. This makes it harder for trolls to use the extraordinary expense of patent litigation to force a settlement.

I'm not sure I like this as it favors big businesses with their extensive resources, large businesses could potentially use the patent system to war with small upstart businesses.

Transparency: The bill includes strong language requiring patent trolls to reveal the parties that would actually benefit from the litigation (called the real party in interest). Also, if the plaintiff is a shell-company patent troll, the defendant could require the real party ininterest to join the litigation, forcing them to pay up if the patent troll can't or won't pay.

Good.

Staying customer suits: The bill requires courts to stay patent litigation against customers (such as a café using an off-the-shelf router to provide Wi-Fi) when there is parallel litigation against the manufacturer.

Also good.

Discovery reform: The bill shuts down expensive and often harassing discovery until the court has interpreted the patent, making it easier for defendants to dispose of frivolous cases early before the legal fees and court costs really add up.

Also good.

Post-grant review: The bill expands an important avenue to challenge a patent's validity at the Patent Office (known as the transitional program for covered business method patents).

I worry about Patent Office corruption favoring big business again. Kind of on the fence about this one. I'd have to read the language on this one.
 
2013-10-24 08:17:22 PM
TuteTibiImperes

Huh, it actually looks like a good bill.

Patent trolls are bad for business. Even if there are rich lawyers making contributions on behalf of patent trolls, there are rich businessmen making contributions on behalf of regular businesses. Imagine there is a patent for sending bits over wires. That patent, enforced, would ruin Cisco. If IBM has the patent Cisco cross licenses its own portfolio and the CEOs go golfing later. If some troll has the patent Cisco has to pay blackmail.


This is not a good bill, it looks to the party with the biggest lawyers and the most money to burn over an issue.  Those who create and patent something for the greater good, say a car that runs on water, unless they patent every part the second they create it some lawyer from the car company can say they had the data years before and bla bla bla.  Read the whole thing which is about 50 pages long, highlighting the short goodie parts always makes lawmakers look good.
 
2013-10-24 08:17:34 PM
Signed the petition and sent it. Tis would be great if it passed.
 
2013-10-24 08:20:12 PM
I'll wait for Groklaw's coverage of this-
Oh... right.

/Thought it sounded like a good law
//Currently wondering what the catch to screw over non-large businesses is
 
2013-10-24 08:22:56 PM
Repeals Obamacare in the fine print. Those kooky house republicans, always scheming.
 
2013-10-24 08:22:57 PM

Snapper Carr: It'll pass but not before it's fundamentally altered to protect the interests of the Googles and Microsofts at the expense of the smaller IP holders.


Say Google infringed on your patent and you had to decide if you were willing to risk their legal fees if you lost. That aspect alone already favors the side with the most resources.

Patent trolls aren't the problem; lameass patents are.
 
2013-10-24 08:23:06 PM
I had to reread the first part of the headline 3 times to get it, because my eyes kept focusing on the "feet nailed to the ground with spikes" part.

I went through MAJOR reconstructive surgery on my feet, which involved with 6 metal rods sticking out of them in various places. I can still feel the metal scraping against bone as the doctor pulled them out with a pair of sterilized pliers....

/reads the full headline again
//almost pukes
///NEEDS UNICORN CHASER STAT!!
 
2013-10-24 08:23:17 PM

Slackfumasta: Hasn't got a chance in hell of passing.

CISPA will probably pass first.


I don't see why it shouldn't...patent trolls have no powerful lobbies.  Even lawyers and patent owners hate patent trolls.
 
2013-10-24 08:27:26 PM

Snapper Carr: Slackfumasta: Hasn't got a chance in hell of passing.


It'll pass but not before it's fundamentally altered to protect the interests of the Googles and Microsofts at the expense of the smaller IP holders.


Google and Microsoft may litigate over IP, but their behavior isn't what this is designed to prevent.  Generally when the big companies file patent suits they do so on generally solid ground, not that you have to believe their claim or interpretation of the patent, but there's usually something behind it.

This is designed to stop companies whose entire business model is buying up tons of patents, offloading them onto shell companies that don't do anything, and then sending out tons of settlement letters hoping people would rather pay up than risk court costs.

An example is the company that tried to extort money from anyone who used a scanner in their business.  Their claim has a virtually nil chance of succeeding in court, but they know if they threaten enough companies they can get some to pay 'license fees' to avoid being sued.

These guys are basically using the same business plan as the porn trolls, only instead of threatening to ruin peoples' reputations by publicly listing them as having downloaded the dirtiest porn titles imaginable, they threaten to ensnare companies in endless litigation when it would be cheaper to just pay them to go away.  It sounds to me like the old mafia protection racket.
 
2013-10-24 08:28:23 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Huh, it actually looks like a good bill.

FTFA: The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Howard Coble (R-NC), Peter Defazio (D-OR), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Tom Marino (R-PA), and George Holding (R-GA).

I'm surprised to see so many Republicans signed on to something that makes sense, especially Farenthold, he's usually way out in teabagger lala land.


I assume the ones from Texas aren't from East Texas, where most of the trolls do their business.
 
2013-10-24 08:40:56 PM
So, basically, if I get sued by a patent troll who cannot afford costs and what-not, I can then take possession of the patent they're trying to troll me over in exchange for paying my court fees.

Thus I can illegally use a patent, profit from it, then chop off the plantif's head and OWN the patent.


People don't seem to have thought this through.
 
2013-10-24 08:46:43 PM
It looks like a good bill, but I still like the idea of nailing their feet to the ground with large metal spikes.
 
2013-10-24 08:52:51 PM
Does it allow a provision for kicking them in the balls repeatedly?
If not, it is too weak.
 
2013-10-24 08:55:58 PM

Begoggle: Does it allow a provision for kicking them in the balls repeatedly?
If not, it is too weak.


How about a compromise.  We nail their balls to the ground with a large metal spike.
 
2013-10-24 08:57:38 PM

oldwolf49: This is not a good bill, it looks to the party with the biggest lawyers and the most money to burn over an issue.


This bill is designed to make litigation cheaper than it is now, so it kind of does the opposite.
 
2013-10-24 09:11:21 PM

OgreMagi: Begoggle: Does it allow a provision for kicking them in the balls repeatedly?
If not, it is too weak.

How about a compromise.  We nail their balls to the ground with a large metal spike.


"A". As in the singular.

Pansy.
 
2013-10-24 09:15:51 PM

Tyrone Slothrop: TuteTibiImperes: Huh, it actually looks like a good bill.

FTFA: The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Howard Coble (R-NC), Peter Defazio (D-OR), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Tom Marino (R-PA), and George Holding (R-GA).

I'm surprised to see so many Republicans signed on to something that makes sense, especially Farenthold, he's usually way out in teabagger lala land.

I assume the ones from Texas aren't from East Texas, where most of the trolls do their business.


Smith is out of San An and Farenthold is somewhere around Austin.
 
2013-10-24 09:20:48 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: OgreMagi: Begoggle: Does it allow a provision for kicking them in the balls repeatedly?
If not, it is too weak.

How about a compromise.  We nail their balls to the ground with a large metal spike.

"A". As in the singular.

Pansy.


I'd guess that one spike is about all that would fit. Perhaps one, driven repeatedly?
 
2013-10-24 09:25:34 PM

bdub77: Post-grant review: The bill expands an important avenue to challenge a patent's validity at the Patent Office (known as the transitional program for covered business method patents).

I worry about Patent Office corruption favoring big business again. Kind of on the fence about this one. I'd have to read the language on this one.


Pessimistic guess: Patents are post-grant rejected, snapped up and re-granted with some weasel-word language changes to the same organization that bribed the office to reject it.
 
2013-10-24 09:27:06 PM
Can wait for this to be gamed and the crying to start.
 
2013-10-24 09:35:07 PM

ZAZ: "Bipartisan" is a nice sounding word, but this is more important: introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The chairman's bill will see favorable treatment.

Fee shifting: The bill allows for a court to require the loser in a patent case to pay the winning side's fees and costs. This makes it harder for trolls to use the extraordinary expense of patent litigation to force a settlement.

I thought that was already the law: optional fee shifting. Loser pays makes it hard for small parties to take on big ones, because the big one can run up expenses and bankrupt the small one by winning even a nominal judgment, like $3 plus attorney's fees.


Yeah, I'm ok with the idea of fee shifting, as long as it is left up to the discretion of the court or jurors. I know at least one David and Goliath case (in Copyright rather than Patents, but a similar idea) where a large company lost on 80% of it's claims, but still "won" because it got a small judgement in its favor (but not enough to destroy the smaller company as it wanted), but it had racked up millions in fees trying to push a bunch of obviously over the top claims (and kept pushing for more time and adding and changing accusations over a couple of years). In that sort of case, there's a perverse incentive to rack up more fees in order to try to bankrupt the company if you know you can eke out even a small victory.
 
2013-10-24 09:45:26 PM

Snapper Carr: Slackfumasta: Hasn't got a chance in hell of passing.


It'll pass but not before it's fundamentally altered to protect the interests of the Googles and Microsofts

Roviat the expense of the smaller IP holders. Microsoft, Google, and everyone else in the country.

Fixed that for you.

/got a TV or a computer? You've paid Rovi for patents that expired 20 years ago thanks to Congress.
 
2013-10-24 10:23:23 PM

Snapper Carr: Slackfumasta: Hasn't got a chance in hell of passing.


It'll pass but not before it's fundamentally altered to protect the interests of the Googles and Microsofts at the expense of the smaller IP holders.


"Loser pays" pretty much takes care of that, really. That said, being able to hire a roomful of lawyers has always been a massive advantage that is next to impossible to remove by legislation (or if it does, it tends to have pretty severe unintended consequences), so I can't really fault a bill for that.
 
2013-10-24 10:34:32 PM

OgreMagi: It looks like a good bill, but I still like the idea of nailing their feet to the ground with large metal spikes.


And not just any ground, but one foot on either side of a fire ant hill.  Make sure they are wearing loose fitted clothing like boxers.
 
2013-10-24 10:36:43 PM

bdub77: Heightened Pleading:The bill requires patent holders to provide basic details (such as which patents and claims are at issue, as well as what products allegedly infringe and how) when it files a lawsuit.

Definitely good. I hope it has more teeth than it sounds like, like specificity...


The counterpoint to this is that sometimes, you don't always know exactly how your competitor is infringing until you get to look at their chip dies or their source code. You know they infringe claim 1 of your patent, but do they infringe claim 2? Claim 3? Claims 7-10?
You should specify a patent and a claim and a product and how you think the patent infringes, but you shouldn't be tied completely to a prediction, pre-discovery. Mind you, many courts already require this under Iqbal.

Discovery reform: The bill shuts down expensive and often harassing discovery until the court has interpreted the patent, making it easier for defendants to dispose of frivolous cases early before the legal fees and court costs really add up.

Also good.
 

Litigators will hate this, so I'm generally in favor. Why should you have to do discovery to interpret a patent? All that should be necessary is the patent specification, and arguably, the prior art in existence at the time of filing. You shouldn't need to look at your competitors product to figure out what your patent, filed five years ago, intended to say.

Fee shifting:The bill allows for a court to require the loser in a patent case to pay the winning side's fees and costs. This makes it harder for trolls to use the extraordinary expense of patent litigation to force a settlement.

I'm not sure I like this as it favors big businesses with their extensive resources, large businesses could potentially use the patent system to war with small upstart businesses.


Totally. As pointed out above, leaving this up to juries or the judge would be better than a blind, game-able "loser  always pays" system.

Transparency: The bill includes strong language requiring patent trolls to reveal the parties that would actually benefit from the litigation (called the real party in interest). Also, if the plaintiff is a shell-company patent troll, the defendant could require the real party ininterest to join the litigation, forcing them to pay up if the patent troll can't or won't pay.

Good.


I like the concept, but I can see this easily be gamed. "Oh, we're not a real party in interest in thiscase, we simply get royalties from any income of the patent, regardless of how it's generated. That makes us a real party because we eventually earn income? Then so is the US, since we pay taxes and the government gets income." It's a little too vague for what they're actually trying to say.

Staying customer suits: The bill requires courts to stay patent litigation against customers (such as a café using an off-the-shelf router to provide Wi-Fi) when there is parallel litigation against the manufacturer.

Also good.


This won't help - you simply sue the customers first, and then file suit against the manufacturer, getting the automatic stay against the customers... but that's pretty much what the trolls do already, considering they have no interest in suing customers and typically attempt to delay or stay their own cases while they go after the manufacturer. They're merely using those suits as pressure against the manufacturer to settle so that potential customers don't shy away.
Basically, it looks super pro-consumer in the bill, but in reality, it means nothing pragmatically. Mind you, that means there's nothing particularly wrong with it, just that it's not really applause worthy.

Post-grant review: The bill expands an important avenue to challenge a patent's validity at the Patent Office (known as the transitional program for covered business method patents).

I worry about Patent Office corruption favoring big business again. Kind of on the fence about this one. I'd have to read the language on this one.


I went back and checked the language of the bill, and now I'm reconsidering my previous answers, though I'm too lazy to fix things. The expansion merely extends the current post-grant review to patents that are from the first-to-invent regime that were in interferences as of March 15. That's like what, two patents at most?

More importantly is the previous section. Starting on page 38, it states that, in post-grant review, the claims are construed the way the courts would under 35 USC 282b - with apresumption of validity of the claims, and with terms construed with "the ordinary and customary meaning of such claim as understood by one ordinary skill in the art,"rather than with "thebroadestpossible meaning,"the way claims are normally construed at the PTO. Unless I'm misreading it - and, I may have been drinking and it may be late, this actuallynarrows post-grant review by requiring a higher standard for invalidation.

Dang. Now I have to read it when awake.
 
2013-10-24 10:59:11 PM
The American Trial Lawyer Association which hilariously renamed itself The American Association for Justice spends more on lobbying than anybody else in the USA and the vast majority of the money goes to the democrats so this bill has as much chance of passing as a blue whale does of sprouting wings and flying. It's only fair considering how much money Silicon Valley put into buying the presidency for their favorite mulatto that he would stab them in the back in favor of people who gave him more. The best president money can buy.
 
2013-10-24 11:13:27 PM
I own Vringo stock, so I wonder how this litigation will affect it.  Google has been making hundreds of billions of advertising revenue using a man's idea for Adwords code (he's on the Vringo board) for plenty of years.  Google lost in court and owes a yet-to-be determined amount.  Google has done nothing to change their practices because they make a ton.  Why wouldn't the giant corporations use others' idea to crush it in their business if there were no repercussions?
 
2013-10-24 11:17:25 PM

OscarTamerz: The American Trial Lawyer Association which hilariously renamed itself The American Association for Justice spends more on lobbying than anybody else in the USA and the vast majority of the money goes to the democrats so this bill has as much chance of passing as a blue whale does of sprouting wings and flying. It's only fair considering how much money Silicon Valley put into buying the presidency for their favorite mulatto that he would stab them in the back in favor of people who gave him more. The best president money can buy.

He's not a racist, that's what's so

 insane about this.
 
2013-10-24 11:23:14 PM

OgreMagi: It looks like a good bill, but I still like the idea of nailing their feet to the ground with large metal spikes.


There's a particular county in Texas where the judge sides with trolls. The town makes a living off visiting lawyers.

A single strafing by helicoptors to take out vehicles followed up two divisions of infantry going door to specific door and rounding up the home team as terrorists oughta do it. Send 'em to a Gitmo style secret hole in north Alaska.
 
2013-10-24 11:38:52 PM

Dawnrazor: Marcus Aurelius: TuteTibiImperes: Huh, it actually looks like a good bill.

^ My first impression as well.

I want to see the fine print, but what I see so far is very fine.

Obamacare is repealed


How can you believe me when I told you that I loved you when you know I've been a liar all my life?
 
2013-10-24 11:43:27 PM

OscarTamerz: The American Trial Lawyer Association which hilariously renamed itself The American Association for Justice spends more on lobbying than anybody else in the USA and the vast majority of the money goes to the democrats so this bill has as much chance of passing as a blue whale does of sprouting wings and flying. It's only fair considering how much money Silicon Valley put into buying the presidency for their favorite mulatto that he would stab them in the back in favor of people who gave him more. The best president money can buy.


.5/10

far too much spittle to get any serious bites. Subtlety is key, work a bit more on your game and come back later
 
2013-10-24 11:51:52 PM
What's to keep patent trolls from setting up an LLC, lose a court case and then simply declare bankruptcy or whatever on the LLC, then create a new LLC and rinse and repeat?
 
2013-10-25 12:08:33 AM

OgreMagi: It looks like a good bill, but I still like the idea of nailing their feet to the ground with large metal spikes.


Patent trolls, and also half of Congress. One good bill doesn't mean I forgive them for shutting down the government.
 
2013-10-25 12:08:54 AM

OscarTamerz: The American Trial Lawyer Association which hilariously renamed itself The American Association for Justice spends more on lobbying than anybody else in the USA and the vast majority of the money goes to the democrats


30 seconds on Google proves this claim to be 100% horseshiat.

i43.tinypic.com

C'mon, you're not even trying anymore.
 
2013-10-25 12:39:37 AM

1nsanilicious: What's to keep patent trolls from setting up an LLC, lose a court case and then simply declare bankruptcy or whatever on the LLC, then create a new LLC and rinse and repeat?


If my G.E.D. in law allows me to interpret this correctly, they could be termed the "real parties of interest" in a case.  If the LLC fails to disclose them as required the defending side could use that to prove that the LLC is operating in bad faith and possibly have the LLC's lawyers hammered for contempt of court or have the case dismissed entirely with the LLC footing the bill.  So in the short run, the trolls lose their investment in starting the LLC, and in the long run, they develop a bad reputation in the court system which may color the opinions of judges who have encountered them before.
 
2013-10-25 12:55:25 AM

fusillade762: OscarTamerz: The American Trial Lawyer Association which hilariously renamed itself The American Association for Justice spends more on lobbying than anybody else in the USA and the vast majority of the money goes to the democrats

30 seconds on Google proves this claim to be 100% horseshiat.

img.fark.net

C'mon, you're not even trying anymore.


Wait - what's Education doing on the list?  University of Phoenix?
 
2013-10-25 01:13:34 AM
Bipartisan?

img1.fark.net

imageshack.us
 
2013-10-25 07:51:11 AM
How about a domestic industry requirement and/or tying infringement damages to profits lost in an actual domestic industry of the plaintiff?

Idea 1: If the plaintiff has a domestic industry in the subject matter of the patent, the suit proceeds normally. If the  plaintiff has no domestic industry in the subject matter of the patent, they must post a 10 mil $ bond to begin the suit. If they lose, the bond goes to cover the defendant's court costs. If they win, the court sets a reasonable royalty rate mandated by statute not to be substantially injurious to the defendant (remember, this is for the P with no domestic industry).
 
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