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SHIELD Act Hopes to Curb Frivolous Patent Lawsuits

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A new bill being proposed by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) hopes to help reduce the number of frivolous patent lawsuits initiated by patent trolls. Titled the Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Dispites, or SHIELD, Act, the proposed legislation is aimed at the computer hardware and software business. The way that SHIELD hopes to work in limiting patent trolling is that it would force the plaintiff to pay the defendant’s legal bill if the plaintiff loses the suit.

uspto_logoRecently, patent litigation has caught the attention of lawmakers as well as the public with high profile lawsuits from Apple, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Google, and Oracle. With many of these suits, plaintiffs often asked not just for monetary compensation but also for the outright ban of the defendant’s infringing products.

Lawsuits like these cost a lot of money and according to lawmakers, do not create jobs for Americans.

“Patent trolls don’t create new technology and they don’t create American jobs,” DeFazio said in a news release. “They pad their pockets by buying patents on products they didn’t create and then suing the innovators who did the hard work and created the product.”

The bill may help Congress separate hardware and software patents into separate categories to enable future reform of the U.S. patent system.

And despite gaining support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, passage of the bill is still considered a long shot according to Ars Technica.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

1 Comment

  1. Tim

    08/03/2012 at 7:59 am

    I think the loser pays idea is great but should first be applied elsewhere in society. A good place to start is in politics. Elected officials like Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and others should be able to accept campaign donations and matching gov’t money but if they lose the election they should have to personally pay back the money. That might help our country weed out the stupid and frivolous politicians.

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