Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
United States Government Patents

Patent Trolls Getting the Attention of the Feds 92

crazyvas writes "The New York Times has published an article on the FTC's plans to investigate the patent system, and likely patent trolls such as Intellectual Ventures. From the article: 'To its defenders, Intellectual Ventures is a revolutionary company unfairly viewed, in the words of its co-founder Peter N. Detkin, "as the poster child of everything that is wrong with the patent system." To its critics, it is a protection racket otherwise known as a patent troll. This summer, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to begin a sweeping investigation of the patent system after the agency's chairwoman, Edith Ramirez, urged a crackdown. She has singled out a particular kind of miscreant, one that engages in "a variety of aggressive litigation tactics," including hiding behind shell companies when it sues.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Patent Trolls Getting the Attention of the Feds

Comments Filter:
  • by norpy ( 1277318 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:35PM (#44313617)

    They already have that rule, all the shell companies are headquartered in east Texas.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:59PM (#44313785)

    software patents need to be cut down as well as well the patents on basic stuff.

  • by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:41PM (#44314019)

    I came to a different conclusion(spin) to the summary presented by the New York Times; this is not about protecting "software designers, smartphone makers and the like" (and definitely not in the case of Microsoft, Apple and Nokia who are both PAE as described in the article and form have created mega patent pools with each other).

    This is about those same companies (Microsoft, Apple and Nokia) attacking start-up companies; stillborning competition; competition within the IT industry or as the linked article describes outside the industry for simply purchasing consumer products...or building a web page(the example is one that includes a calorie counter). Ballmer threatening Linux that.

    I find it depressing that Intellectual Ventures are being scapegoated...when as I see it the worst offenders of the computing Industry(with their own PAE) are portrayed as Victims when they are the worst offenders, and is not the thrust what Edith Ramirez says []

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 18, 2013 @02:15AM (#44315157) Journal

    Are you serious? Given the fricking HATRED that most have for corps I seriously doubt you'd find a landshark that would give up a shot at a big fish like that and since I'm sure they'd have rules against somebody who works for the corp being on the jury you could pitch the whole "David versus Goliath" angle, people eat that kind of underdog story up.

    Of course that just illustrates why East Texas is a haven for trolls, lots of poor folks that don't like those with more money than them that are more than happy to screw a big evil corp, easy pickings. So I'd argue if anything its the big corps like Apple, Google, and MSFT that have to worry under the current system which is why you see them building patent warchests and signing cross license deals with each other, because we have seen plenty of times trolls like intellectual Vultures go from one to the other to the other, grabbing the loot off the corps thanks to a "Patent to something with something else" vague as hell patent some moron at USPTO handed out.

    I personally am just worried that it will go too far the other way, I live in one of those states where the MSM beat the "tort reform" drum a decade or so back and all the "reform" did was make it so a doctor can show up drunk and butcher somebody and not have to worry about a suit because no lawyer will take the case, the insanely low caps mean that the years of work it'll take to get a medical suit through the courts won't show a ROI so they won't touch it. I think we can all agree the current system is broken but as we saw with Obamacare trying to get healthcare for the uninsured and instead watching every business cut everyone to part time, just because you have good intent does NOT mean what comes out on the other side will be good.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein