Patent reform is an important concern for the technology industry.

With patent reform on hold, companies still need to protect intellectual property

June 24, 2014 8:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The issue of patent reform has been the subject of much discussion, between patent infringement lawsuits frequently making the headlines and the government debating over what will be done regarding patent reform. 

One major issue is non-practicing entities (NPEs), also known as "patent trolls," companies that are not actively creating technology, but own patents and sue other companies in an attempt to make a profit. As we have discussed previously on this blog, this practice is perceived by many to be a threat to innovation, especially in the technology sector. 

Recently, the U.S. Senate made a decision to put patent reform legislation on hold for the remainder of the year, according to Forbes. The article raises the point that although there are concerns surrounding patent litigation, patent licensing is also an important issue.

The article goes on to explain that 95 percent of 2.1 million patents that are active today are not licensed or commercialized. This results in great financial losses because intellectual property assets are not being used as much as they could be. 

Patent litigation can be drawn-out and costly, and the system that is currently in place makes it harder for companies to innovate and profit from their inventions. However, as the article suggests, changes to the patent licensing system could create improvements in this area. 

Right now it is unclear how or when patent reform will take place. In the meantime, companies must do what is necessary to ensure they are able to stay innovative without infringing or being infringed upon. 

The frequency at which patent lawsuits take place highlights the need for businesses to put protections in place to keep their intellectual property safe from infringement. A Phoenix, AZ small business attorney can provide legal counsel to any business wondering how to protect intellectual property from would-be infringers. 

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