Patent Trolls, Beware: Your Days May Be Numbered
As a small business owner, your success might depend on the creation of some innovative new technology or service. Often enough, in the development of said advances, one must piggyback on past discoveries to make the innovative leap. Unfortunately, small business inventors can often be plagued by patent trolls who care nothing about original work and only about making a profit. These trolls scour for even the slightest of violations that are often enough done unknowingly by the inventor. The trolls also rarely have a case and just try to intimidate the legally uniformed small business owner into a cash settlement. All of this might be changing however as Mashable reports, “People who sue technology companies over patents when they’re really only trying to win big settlements have earned themselves a nickname: patent trolls.
Thanks to the Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act, or SHIELD Act, their days may be numbered. The SHIELD Act would require anybody who files a lawsuit related to a computer hardware or software patent to pay his or her opponent’s legal bills if a court finds the lawsuit “did not have a reasonable likelihood of succeeding.” Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio introduced the bill in the House to protect innovators from superfluous lawsuits. “Patent trolls don’t create new technology and they don’t create American jobs,” said DeFazio in a statement. “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.” According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this “loser pays” system isn’t a revolutionary concept and has long been a part of copyright law in other fields…”
Source - Mashable