Patent Troll Bill Clears House with Huge Majority

CommanderFrank

Cat Can't Scratch It
Joined
May 9, 2000
Messages
75,412
The days of the patent troll may be coming to an abrupt end soon. The Innovation Act was passed by a wide margin this week, which would severely restrain the actions of patent trolls.

"We must put an end to abuse of the patent system and make the necessary changes to ensure that it serves its constitutional purpose: protecting innovators and their inventions."
 

sliverjazz

Gawd
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
747
Another stab at crippling the individual of moving ahead in life financially with some legwork and distinguishing themself from the herd. It is all about setting the playing field to no valleys where everyone is always going to be stuck in the same fish bowl. Communism.
 

Json23

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
1,380
Except the details of this legislation are anything but what they say it is, lol. Its like calling the AFCA "affordable" or the Patriot Act "patriotic".

I bet they are laughing while they vote for this.
 

Ski

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
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Here is the bill:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr3309rh/pdf/BILLS-113hr3309rh.pdf

And this is who voted for it:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll629.xml

One part of the Congress has passed a version of a bill that is meant to address some of the worst abuses of the patent system. It's not a law yet. The Senate is considering its own version now, and the President would have to sign it.

The bill basically does the following:

If you win a patent case, the other person will have to pay you back for what you had to spend on lawyers.
Makes it so that if you are sued for patent infringement, the other side doesn't get to start asking your for documents until everyone agrees on what the words of the patent mean
Makes it so that when you're sued for patent infringement, the patent owner has to tell you right away what you're accused of infringing and what things you make or sell infringe and how.
Makes a patent owner say who has an interest in the patent they're using to sue.

But here is a big problem I have with the bill: This is bad.

"Loser pays" in patent suit. Think you've got a case against Apple? Sue them. You hire a lawyer for $25k, that's all you can muster. They enlist their legal army for $1M.

You lose.

You owe Apple $1M.

Source you say?

Sec. 285. Fees and other expenses

(a) Award- The court shall award, to a prevailing party, reasonable fees and other expenses incurred by that party in connection with a civil action in which any party asserts a claim for relief arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, unless the court finds that the position of the nonprevailing party or parties was substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
3,774
Loser pays can be a double edged sword, it almost guarantees that large companies can fuck small inventors any time they want since all of the real risk is placed on the less financially able party. It's great when a patent troll goes after someone and loses but it sucks when Apple buries your piss-ass lawyer with a $20 million legal team and you get the shaft.

There needs to be scalar cap, like the most you pay of their legal fees would be your own fees again. So if you paid your lawyer $25K the most you would have to pay is $25K to Apple as well as your own legal costs.

There has to be penalties in a legal establishment for frivolity, both for lawyers and plaintiffs but it has to be very carefully constructed to avoid making the legal process completely inaccessible to the majority of citizens.
 

Master [H]

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
2,629
I agree with you, save the last part on loser pays.

I don't straight disagree with your point. I think the intent is to make those bringing the suit think twice before starting the process. There's more at stake on their end for a frivolous suit.

Also, this is the first thing Congress has worked on that I like.
 

sfsuphysics

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
15,250
Depends upon what the court deems as 'reasonable fees' if you have a $25k lawyer, is it really reasonable that the other guy has $1M in lawyers?
 

sfsuphysics

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
15,250
The loser pays can be a benefit too, how many companies/individuals simply fold and roll over simply because they can't afford to fight it. The whole "it's cheaper to settle" mentality tends to come up quite a bit.
 

reb00tin

Gawd
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
864
Here is the bill:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr3309rh/pdf/BILLS-113hr3309rh.pdf

And this is who voted for it:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll629.xml

One part of the Congress has passed a version of a bill that is meant to address some of the worst abuses of the patent system. It's not a law yet. The Senate is considering its own version now, and the President would have to sign it.

The bill basically does the following:

If you win a patent case, the other person will have to pay you back for what you had to spend on lawyers.
Makes it so that if you are sued for patent infringement, the other side doesn't get to start asking your for documents until everyone agrees on what the words of the patent mean
Makes it so that when you're sued for patent infringement, the patent owner has to tell you right away what you're accused of infringing and what things you make or sell infringe and how.
Makes a patent owner say who has an interest in the patent they're using to sue.

But here is a big problem I have with the bill: This is bad.

"Loser pays" in patent suit. Think you've got a case against Apple? Sue them. You hire a lawyer for $25k, that's all you can muster. They enlist their legal army for $1M.

You lose.

You owe Apple $1M.

Source you say?

Sec. 285. Fees and other expenses

(a) Award- The court shall award, to a prevailing party, reasonable fees and other expenses incurred by that party in connection with a civil action in which any party asserts a claim for relief arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, unless the court finds that the position of the nonprevailing party or parties was substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust.

Very true if the litigants are unequal, e.g. small inventor vs. megacorp that can spend millions to confuse the bored jurors.
 

Chunder

Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
519
"We must put an end to abuse of the patent system and make the necessary changes to ensure that it serves its constitutional purpose: protecting innovators and their inventions."

True innovation and inventions can't be made until the entire idea of a patent is thrown out. Why must one not be able to use an idea to better another just because someone else claimed it first? Imagine if someone had patented the first motor/vehicle and no one else was allowed to do so... A good modern day example however is in the mobile industry... Companies such as HTC have had to switch to lesser quality components due to these "patent infringements". None of it is good for customers, and only benefits corporations.
 

Ultima99

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jul 31, 2004
Messages
4,905
You know there are corporate lawyers out there eating this up. "Hey Samsung, lets triple my fees since if we win Apple will be paying for me anyways."
 

Abditive

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
145
You know there are corporate lawyers out there eating this up. "Hey Samsung, lets triple my fees since if we win Apple will be paying for me anyways."

I see it like this too, it sounds like a great way for the monied class to bury the the common class. Double edged sword no doubt but in the favor of the money.
 

cesium666

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
4,506
"We must put an end to abuse of the patent system and make the necessary changes to ensure that it serves its constitutional purpose: protecting innovators and their inventions."

True innovation and inventions can't be made until the entire idea of a patent is thrown out. Why must one not be able to use an idea to better another just because someone else claimed it first? Imagine if someone had patented the first motor/vehicle and no one else was allowed to do so... A good modern day example however is in the mobile industry... Companies such as HTC have had to switch to lesser quality components due to these "patent infringements". None of it is good for customers, and only benefits corporations.

Because sometime it costs an enormous amount of R&D to create something, and you don't want someone to profit off your legwork right away. If I'm a pharma corp and have to spend $2B to develop a new drug, you can bet your ass I'm not spending that money if a few months later some genericizer like Ranbaxy can turn around, reverse engineer, and sell my drug for a fraction of the cost. Patents aren't inherently bad, but certainly could use some improvement. You put your innovation out in the public eye, allowing others to examine and use it as inspiration or basis of improvement, but in return you get 17yrs of protection. Without some form of protection, no one would invest the monies needed to create innovation.
 

InorganicMatter

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
15,464
I hope this affects Apple.

Holy shit, if this passes, what will Apple and Samsung do now?

It won't. This bill is awful. It is plain and simple pro-big-business legislation that will make it easier than ever to stomp out small-time inventors. Fee shifting is never anything more than a handout to the defense bar.

The Senate's version of this bill (Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013) is the one we want to pass. It has stronger customer stay provisions, and does not have fee shifting.

The Innovation Act started with great intentions, but as is typical of the House, was quickly watered down to another big business handout.
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,700
Because sometime it costs an enormous amount of R&D to create something, and you don't want someone to profit off your legwork right away. If I'm a pharma corp and have to spend $2B to develop a new drug, you can bet your ass I'm not spending that money if a few months later some genericizer like Ranbaxy can turn around, reverse engineer, and sell my drug for a fraction of the cost. Patents aren't inherently bad, but certainly could use some improvement. You put your innovation out in the public eye, allowing others to examine and use it as inspiration or basis of improvement, but in return you get 17yrs of protection. Without some form of protection, no one would invest the monies needed to create innovation.

Some people believe companies will spend billions on research with no chance of a pay off, anyway.
 

cesium666

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
4,506
Some people believe companies will spend billions on research with no chance of a pay off, anyway.

That works in the short-run, but if the company gets no payoff how will they fund future research?
 
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