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White House Dislikes Patent Trolls

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Silicon Valley: it’s marketed as the land of innovation and making your dreams come true. But what happens when the protections in place designed to help you appear to be working against you, leaving you as the defendant in a lawsuit? Stephanie Chuang reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013)

    The White House is now supporting a bill in the House that would make it easier for companies to fight back against patent trolls, according to reports.

    The bill, also known as the Innovation Act, was authored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and will be put up to a vote in the House either Wednesday or Thursday, according to The Verge. Because the bill already sailed through the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support, it's expected to have strong support in the House.

    Patent Trolls Threaten to Drain Silicon Valley Startups

    [BAY] Patent Trolls Threaten to Drain Silicon Valley Startups
    Silicon Valley: it’s marketed as the land of innovation and making your dreams come true. But what happens when the protections in place designed to help you appear to be working against you, leaving you as the defendant in a lawsuit? Stephanie Chuang reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013)

    MORE:  "Patent Trolls" Threaten to Drain Silicon Valley Startups

    A patent troll is a term frequently used to describe people or firms that instead of creating products or designs simply collect patents to sue other companies.

    The Innovation Act could make fighting lawsuits against patent trolls less expensive for defendants and may help them recover court costs. It would also clarify patents and demands in the initial legal action.

    The White House has previously expressed its support of patent reform, but publicly supported the bill on Tuesday.  "The bill would improve incentives for future innovation while protecting the overall integrity of the patent system," the White House commented in a statement.

    However, part of the problem is that patent law allowed people to file for vague and general technological patents in the first place, and that technical knowledge seemed to be minimal -- especially in the early days of the tech boom. It seems odd that someone could have received a patent for a device that receives electronic messages without being able to prove it could actually create one.