Patent Trolls and CBM

For anyone that is interested in becoming a lawyer, or at least thinking about becoming one, may I suggest that you get into patent law???because even in the rough Obama-economy, patent trolls are busy at work and busy is booming.

Patent trolls, which is a term used to describe individuals that plan to make money on their inventions by threatening or filing lawsuits, are becoming so prevalent in today???s world that new legislation is making its way through Congress in an effort to crack down on frivolous patent litigation.

There is also an issue that keep popping up every time Congress deals with temporary legislation touching on patents ???Covered Business Method Patents.

CBM patents are a relatively new type of patent that discloses new methods of doing business that don???t seem necessary.  There does not seem to be a need to patenting business methods???nevertheless it looks as though some are going to push for this this experimental program to become permanent.

The CBM program was originally intended to provide a temporary to provide a temporary alternative to litigation to challenged patents, but now is being used to attack software patents.

The problem with CBM is that companies, like Google, frequently use this method to challenge legitimate patents allowing them to use the product or technology involved for 18 months without having to pay a single penny to the patent holder. It doesn???t take a scholar to understand that this is stifling innovation, economic growth and all of the things associated with the free-market, entrepreneurial principles that Conservatives love.

One of the most troubling aspects of the 18-month waiting period is that the patent-infringer can continue to gain the market-share while the legitimate patent holder has to sit on the sidelines waiting for a decision and losing out on revenue.

There is no reason why innovators whose inventions are embodied in software should see their inventions treated any differently than an invention in any other area of technology. This legal form of discrimination stands to harm American inventors outside our borders; because many trading partners will be eager to discriminate against America’s software innovation.

So what???s the solution?

The only glimmer of hope in fixing the problem is recently, new legislation made it???s way through the House Judiciary Committee, which is aimed at curbing the abuse of patent infringement litigation, which is a positive sign towards tackling the issue of expensive patent legal battles but if the bill is attached with an extension of CBM, Conservatives should ditch this legislation.

Because, expansion of the covered business method patent review procedure would place major dead-weight over the patents of innovators by subjecting those patents to commercially-motivated challenges on terms that are extremely favorable to the challenger.

The bill was drafted by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Goodlatte claims that the bill will reduce costly lawsuits brought against corporations from ???patent trolls.??? One major provision is that the losing party in a patent dispute would have to pay the attorneys fees of the prevailing party.

Looks like it is a good time to be in the business of patent law, because you can make money suing companies issuing patents as a means to make some quick cash.  The problem is the the more companies are paying lawyers is taking away from money that could be better spent in research and development of the next cool phone, app or computer.