Finally, a bill put forth aimed at curbing frivolous patent lawsuits and clearing a years-long backlog of patent applications gained the backing of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee today.
Without question, it’s about time, patent trolls have wreaked havoc for far too long.
The vote was unanimous, the committee voted 32-3 for the bill that allows more public feedback on applications to prevent bad patents from being approved and gives the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent office more control over its finances.
The bill is not yet official, as it still must go before the House.
As gaming industry professionals, we’re all for anything that can kill the Patent trolls who are currently abusing the US patent system to the detriment of the companies they attack and to the detriment of the entire US economy.
Technology is always of big interest to the online gaming industry, and this development is just as significant. From our point of view, those damn trolls are getting off light.
We actually favour public canning of Patent Trolls…or maybe the Yakuza finger cutting punishments would be better…. but we doubt the current reforms will be as enlightened as this.
The bill should get passed as it is similar to a bill passed through the Senate on March 8 and already has the backing of President Barack Obama. The bill also sets procedures and rules for patents to be challenged after they are granted, which is undoubtedly a more cost effective solution than litigation.
Additionally, the bill would effectively grant patents to the first person to file, rather than the first to invent. Reuters reports committee chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican saying, “These reforms discourage frivolous suits, enhance patent quality and streamline international principles.”
Significantly, the bill also ends the practice of diverting fees collected by the patent office to general government revenue and gives it fee-setting authority to hire examiners and upgrade its outdated technology.
There’s many things pulling on the US economy, no doubt the backlog of more than 700,000 applications in the patent office that are awaiting approval or rejection, isn’t helping business.
Again from the perspective of the online gaming industry, at the very least, when this bill passes, it should cut down on those parasites and their patent trolling.