Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Oct 2013 11:25 UTC

So, there's a new patent reform bill in the US that is supposed to put an end to "patent trolls".

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), has introduced a bill [PDF] that directly attacks the business model of "patent trolls." The bill has a real chance at passing, with wide backing from leadership in both parties.

Don't believe all the cheers online - this bill is a disaster. What it essentially does is make it very hard for smaller companies to file patent lawsuits. While this does, indeed, make it harder for small patent trolls to operate, it has the side effect of shifting the balance of power even more in favour of the larger companies. Additional costs and legal legwork are a huge hindrance for small companies, but entirely inconsequential for large companies which employ the same patent trolling tactics as actual patent trolls, such as Apple's software and design patent abuse or Microsoft's mafia practices regarding Android.

With this bill, it will become a lot harder for a small, innovative startup with a great idea to protect itself against the big players. I would call that an unintended side effect, were it not that I am a huge cynic and know perfectly fine that this is anything but 'unintended'.

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Firstly, you still appear to be ignorant of the fact that you are conflating two very separate and very different legal proceedings.

Secondly, as clearly stated in the veto letter, the only grounds for an executive veto of an ITC decision are the impact on (1) public health and welfare, (2) competitive conditions in the US economy, (3) production of competitive articles in the US, (4) US consumers, and (5) US foreign relations, economic and political.

So why you find it controversial that the decision results from the case's impact on economic and competitive effects is completely beyond me. The veto could NOT have stemmed from any error in finding of facts or judicial decisions.

And the letter clearly states that his decision is in compliance with conditions (2) and (4):

This decision is based on my review of the various policy considerations discussed above as they relate to the effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers.”

The basis for finding the decision as negatively impacting (2) and (4) is that granting bans based on SEPs is harmful to standards and consumers.

Doesn't make it fair to Samsung now does it?

Since the decision is perfectly in compliance with the mandate of the President (i.e the boss of the ITC) and Samsung still has its rights to pursue a case in the courts rather than via an international trade body of the executive branch, I absolutely do not see anything as unfair towards Samsung.

Edited 2013-10-24 18:22 UTC

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