Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Congress Introduces Yet Another Anti-troll Bill - Expanding Post Grant Review for Business Method Patents

In Supermarkets' solution to patent trolls: fight it out at the USPTO, Joe Mullin reports that Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced a bill to the House on July 22 that proposes to expand the types of business method patents eligible for post grant review (PGR). The Issa-Chu bill sounds similar to an earlier proposed bill by Senator Schumer (D-NY).

Noting the benefits of the bill, CCIA patent counsel Matt Levy notes that the cost of post grant review is currently about $100,000, which is a bargain compared to the $2 million or more that might be spent to defend against a US patent in federal court. Mr. Levy suggests it could be even more of a bargain as "if a troll is targeting 20 or 30 companies they can each chip in." Of course the downside to this "even better bargain" is 20 or 30 companies would be subject to an estoppel if the PGR request to invalidate or narrow the essential patent claims is unsuccessful.

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