Russ Emerson in Law360: No Fast Relief From White House 'Patent Troll' Plan

02/26/2014


The Obama administration unveiled a slate of initiatives last week that it said would help crack down on so-called patent trolls, and attorneys say that while the efforts may help weed out vague patents favored by some trolls, the practical effect of the changes may not be seen for years.

The White House plans announced Thursday are largely focused on improving patent quality by giving patent examiners more training and encouraging the public to submit prior art that could prevent bad patents from being issued...

Improving patent quality is the key to reducing frivolous patent litigation, according to Russell Emerson of Haynes and Boone, LLP, who said that "there would be no so-called troll problem without low-quality patents."

"If a patent is a good, strong, valid patent, there's nothing wrong with enforcing it," he said. "The problem comes up when patents are low-quality, and bottom feeders can assert them against lots of companies, knowing that the cost of litigation is so great that there is an incentive to settle rather than fight."

The administration's plans to improve patent quality "may take a while, but I still think it's a good move," Emerson said.

Excerpted from Law360, February 26, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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