NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

States Move to Do-It-Yourself Patent Reform

September 15, 2015

In response to Congress' delays in patent reform legislation, several states have passed laws to help cut down on "patent trolls." Patent trolls buy dormant patents and then use them to file suit against a company rather than use the rights to produce a product or service. 27 states passed laws to address the numerous infringement claims, many which are bad faith assertions.  Although filings are still much higher than in past years, for the first time since 2009 the number of patent lawsuits nationwide decreased this year.

New state patent reform laws include:

  • Granting local businesses the ability to countersue in state court if they believe they have been the subject of a knowingly false or exaggerated patent-infringement claim.
  • Providing Judges with guidelines to determine bad faith claims.
  • Empowering a judge to require a $500,000 bond for a patent holder if the case has wrongful allegations.

Unfortunately, in places where many technology firms are located, such as California and Massachusetts, patent reform laws have not yet been passed.  Policymakers should continue to support patent reform as many state′s reform laws enjoyed bipartisan support, have spared companies including Sumitomo Electric Lightwave from faulty accusations and ended patent trolling for companies like MPHJ Technology Investments LLC.

Source: Steve Malanga, "States Move to Do-It-Yourself Patent Reform


" Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2015.


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