House Proposes New Patent Troll Litigation Bill
As expected, a U.S. House of Representatives bill was introduced today that would help defendants in patent litigation cases challenge the validity of the patents in question.
Introduced by Representatives Darrell Issa and Judy Chu, the Stopping the Offensive Use of Patents (STOP) Act would expand the 2011 America Invents Act to include pauses in ongoing litigation while patents are reviewed, and pro-bono legal services.
The STOP Act is parallel to a Senate bill called the Patent Quality Improvement Act introduced a couple of months ago by Senator Chuck Schumer.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation points out that there are something like seven different bills pending in the House and Senate that would take on patent trolls for abusing their intellectual property rights — for instance, the new House Patent Litigation and Innovation Act would require better disclosures and documentation on the part of patent holders when they file suit, and sanctions for abusive litigation.
And that’s in addition to support from the White House and a new Federal Trade Commission information-gathering investigation of patent trolls.