patent litigation

QUIZ: What do EFF, movie studios, automobiles, and your local grocery store have in common?

patent reform

If you guessed that they are all big in California—well, you're kinda right.

But the more significant answer is that they are part of a growing broad array of the US economy that have united together to strongly encourage Congress to address abuses of the legal system by Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs).

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A banner year for patent litigation in 2012

patent litigation

Open source community members and most everyone else involved in software are concerned about patent lawsuits and the activities of non-practicing entities (NPEs). While we all have a sense from personal experience or by reading the news that patent litigation and NPEs are a large and growing concern, at times it's hard to see the forest for the trees. A new report from a respected accounting firm gives a bird's eye view of the forest.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) 2013 Patent Litigation Study, 2012 was a "banner year for patent infringement litigation." Patent actions continued their dramatic rise in 2012 with 5,189 filings—the highest number ever recorded, and a 29% rise over last year, primarily resulting from the impact of the anti-joinder provision of the America Invents Act. Meanwhile, the 2012 median damages award, boosted by several unusually large damages awards, rose to nearly $10 million, which is double the average award seen over the previous six years.

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Patent reform bills with little reform

In my March 2 post on patent reform, I noted that many of the provisions offered in prior versions of patent reform bills were removed from the pending bill. On March 8, the Senate passed S. 23, now called the “America Invents Act” 95-5. As one might guess, any legislation passed with such unanimity must present little controversy. Such is the case here, as the bill was further stripped before passage, leaving little reform to match the hype with which it was passed. » Read more

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