The words “manufacturer” and “innovation” often go together like “peanut butter” and “jelly.” Many manufacturers spend years developing processes and products that they then must protect by using the legal system such as through obtaining patents, trademarks, etc.
Over the past several years, many manufacturers have learned that there are entities in the marketplace known as “patent assertion entities” (a.k.a. “patent trolls”). Patent trolls do not manufacture anything. Rather, they often buy up patents and then bring lawsuits against businesses seeking to extract licensing fees. This issue has resulted in calls to reform the patent system, including from President Obama, Congress and attorneys general from 42 states. Any manufacturer or distributor that has anything to do with patents should follow these developments and we will venture to keep our readers updated.
For further reading, the White House has issued a press release on the President’s proposals and the attorneys general from 42 states have sent a letter to Congress asking for legislative measures to curb patent trolls. Not everyone agrees with these measures, including Professor Timothy Holbrook from Emory University School of Law whose views are reported in the following article on CNN.
We welcome any comments or questions on this topic.