Attorney General Roundtable on Patent Trolls to be Held in NYC

Did someone say "Patent Troll"?
What (if anything) should be done about "patent trolls" from a regulatory and patent law perspective?  Much has been debated on this topic over the past year (including, among only a few examples, at IPKat here and here, and at PatLit here, here and here).  Proposals that have been discussed include those put forward by US President Obama and various members of Congress to change the patent law system to include litigation handicaps for patent trolls.  In addition, Attorneys General from several US States have taken action on the State level by fighting patent trolls using their states' consumer protection laws. 

On November 19, three Attorneys General who are outspoken about patent trolls - Bill Sorrell from Vermont, Chris Koster of Missouri, and Jon Bruning from Nebraska - will join corporate general counsels in a roundtable on how the business practices of patent trolls affect local businesses.  This roundtable event is free and open for registration here

According to the press release invitation from sponsoring law firm Dickstein Shapiro:
The panel will feature the Attorneys General of Missouri, Nebraska, and Vermont speaking about their recent efforts to combat harmful business practices involving “patent trolls” in their states.  
The panel also will feature the General Counsels of DuPont, Rackspace, and Walmart US who will speak about the effect patent trolls have had on their businesses. The panel will be moderated by Bernie Nash, Practice Leader of Dickstein Shapiro’s State Attorney General Practice.
Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell was the first AG to use his State’s consumer protection law to combat these abusive practices and his case marks a potential watershed moment and the beginning of a new front to combat frivolous patent suits while preserving the important function of the patent system. 
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning is the co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General’s Intellectual Property Committee, and is engaged in litigation against “patent trolls” and their attorneys under Nebraska’s Consumer Protection Act.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is actively engaged in investigating the impact of trolls on Missouri businesses.
The roundtable will take place on November 19, 2013 from 1:30 – 4:00 pm at the Intercontinental New York Barclay, 111 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017. Please join us for a buffet lunch from 1:00 – 1:30 PM and a networking reception with the AGs and other panelists from 4:00 – 5:30 PM. 
Interested attendees should register soon, as the event is sure to draw a crowd and there is limited space available.  This Kat will be in attendance and, in her first foray into live speed-blogging, plans to blog about the discussions raised during the roundtable for the benefit of Kat readers.
Attorney General Roundtable on Patent Trolls to be Held in NYC Attorney General Roundtable on Patent Trolls to be Held in NYC Reviewed by Miri Frankel on Thursday, November 07, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. Am I right in thinking that at present there is no provision for compulsory licences under US patent law? If such a provision were introduced (so that trolls not making or importing patented products could be forced to give a licence on reasonable terms), would that help?

  2. No, it would not help.

    US Patent law has no compulsory license provision in part because US Patent law has no requirement to use the invention (it's not a part of the exclusive right), and many inventions CANNOT be used without first walking on someone else's rights - a vast majority of patents are improvement patents and thus the patent holder (of the improvement patent) is not allowed to simply practice their patent.

    If you want to render extreme damage to US patent law, then you should proceed with the whim of such forced conscription.


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