One of the things that really gets my ire, and really has me wanting to push for the legalization of slapping the stupid out of people, is the act of Patent Trolls. What is that you may ask?
Wikipedia defines a Patent Troll as:
A patent troll, also called a patent assertion entity (PAE), is a person or company who enforces patent rights against accusedinfringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question, thus engaging in economic rent-seeking.
What really gets my goat about these opportunistic thugs is that they never really go after the big guys…they prey on smaller companies or start ups and grind them into submission or worse…use threats to extort payment for obscure patent infringements.
I was doing some digging on the Interwebz today and found an interesting law that is before the Oregon Senate Bill 1540 and thanks to Senator Jackie Winters these bottom feeders will be banned.
What prompted this act of goodness in the Pacific North West of the United States? Well I will cite information from an article posted on Oregon Live yesterday:
A letter threatening to sue Landmark Professional Mortgage Company of Salem arrived last February.
The accusation from ChaPac, LLC in Delaware said that Landmark’s use of a Canon scanner violated patents.
“They were claiming that they had the patent rights to the technology and that we were using it without proper licensing,” said David Hafner, Landmark’s executive vice president. “They attached to the letter a complaint that says, ‘We’re suing you, but if you pay us, this’ll go away within two weeks.’ I got so mad that I never even called them back.”
Instead, he called the Oregon Department of Justice, only to be told that there was little the agency could do because the lawsuit threatened Hafner’s company, not him.
Patent Reform needs to happen. It can’t be left to each State and Jurisdiction. The same article states that in 2013 there was nearly 20% more Patent Infringement Suits filed last year by these…well I try to keep this Blog G Rated so I will defer from really saying what I think.