NY Times: The Patent Troll Smokescreen

An opinion piece by Joe Nocera in the NY Times criticizes legislation aimed at patent trolls, claiming that the legislation could have “huge negative consequences for legitimate inventors” and “effectively tilt the playing field even further toward big companies with large lobbying budgets.”

He notes that the 2011 America Invents Act allows big companies to largely ignore legitimate patent holders. The article quotes a patent lawyer describing the increasingly popular practice of using a technology that infringes on someone’s patent, while ignoring the patent holder entirely. When the patent holder discovers the infringement and seeks recompense, the infringer responds by challenging the patent’s validity.

“For the sake of real innovation, and in the name of the small inventor, who holds a special place in America’s mythology, the pendulum needs to start swinging in the other direction,” Nocera writes.

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