|Nearly ready for a cat nap...|
after commenting on the FTC.
The FTC explains,
"[t]he Commission, however, has unique Congressional authority to collect nonpublic information, such as licensing agreements, patent acquisition information, and cost and revenue data, which will provide a more complete picture of PAE activity.
Because the Commission believes a broader study will enhance the quality of the policy debate surrounding PAE activity, it proposes information requests directed to the following questions:
- How do PAEs organize their corporate legal structure, including parent and subsidiary entities?
- What types of patents do PAEs hold, and how do they organize their holdings?
- How do PAEs acquire patents, and how do they compensate prior patent owners?
- How do PAEs engage in assertion activity (i.e. demand, litigation, and licensing behavior)?
- What does assertion activity cost PAEs?; and
- What do PAEs earn through assertion activity?
"To understand how PAE behavior compares with patent assertion activity by other patent owners in a particular industry or sector, the FTC also proposes sending information requests to approximately 15 other entities asserting patents in the wireless communications sector, including manufacturing firms and other non-practicing entities and organizations engaged in licensing."[This Kat suggests that the FTC can learn the answers to at least some of its questions by listening to "When Patents Attack", a podcast produced by National Public Radio's This American Life, previously highlighted by the IP Kat here.]
Any readers wishing to submit comments to the FTC on this matter may do so using this link. Comments are welcomed from interested persons, US or foreign. [Merpel wonders if comments from felines are also welcomed...]
This FTC proposal was inspired by President Obama's directive to US federal agencies to “protect innovators from frivolous litigation” by developing strategies and undertaking intiatives that disincentivize patent troll behaviour.