With growing concern at the number of patent trolls attacking businesses and individuals with frivolous claims, the White House is to tackle the trolls head-on with seven legislative proposals, five of which Obama intends to push through without the aid of Congress.
The full list can be seen at EFF.org, but in short, they aim to:
- Make demand letters accessible and searchable by the public
- Require patents to display the real owner
- Make it easier for courts to force losing trolls to pay fees
- Allow robust patent challenges at the patent office
- Protect end users, particularly small businesses and individuals
- Make it harder to ban products when an infringement only covers a fraction of the whole product
- Give the ITC more flexibility when hiring
The White House also released a new paper called Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation, which examines the damage caused by patent trolls.
In short, these are welcome measures to a system that’s been clearly broken for a long time. iOS Guides hopes to see similar proposals and reforms in the UK and European Union, where patent trolls still abuse the system.