Is the U.S. due for intellectual property reform?October 29, 2013 11:41 am Leave your thoughts
Few people who work with intellectual property law will tell you that the U.S. patent system is the best it can be. There are many problems with our current system, including, most notably, the influx of "patent trolls" who file abusive lawsuits against legitimate businesses.
In the past, however, reform efforts have generally failed to make much headway. A recent article on Gigaom cites a 2011 bill signed into law by President Obama. Known as the America Invents Act, it was supposed to rein in many of the abuses that were pervasive within the system. It failed to do so.
In spite of that failure—or perhaps because of it—Congress seems poised to act again. As this blog has mentioned previously, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) recently filed legislation to severely curb the incentives that patent trolls have to sue with abandon.
Why the sudden desire for reform? Gigaom contributor Jeff John Roberts suggests that it is because the bill is actually gaining bipartisan support this time. Back in 2011, he writes, patent reform was considered a Democratic issue, spearheaded by tech companies that generally donated to liberal causes. Republicans had little to gain by offering their input, and so they didn't—in fact, some tried to weaken the law, believing that it would hurt inventors. Since then, however, it has been clear that the current system hurts businesses all across the political spectrum. Now, both sides of the aisle have an incentive to act and get it right.
"The trolls have gone after so many types of businesses, and gone after Main Street too, that our coalition has bloomed," Michael Beckerman, CEO of the Internet Association, told Gigaom.
This could mean that U.S. intellectual property law is in for some major changes that will affect numerous businesses. Those who wish to know what reform could mean to them should contact a Phoenix business attorney.
Categorised in: Intellectual Property Law
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