Both consumers and business owners are feeling the pinch. Since June last year he has seen inflation rise by 9.1%. We haven’t seen inflation this high since the 1980s, and talk of a recession is on the rise.
As costs rise across the board, businesses become vulnerable. Earlier this year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that 85% of small business owners are concerned about the impact of inflation. We need to act now to generate economic growth, forestall recessions and mitigate the pitfalls of the current economic climate.
One sure way to do that is to reverse recent decisions to undermine patent reform. Patent reform is a reform with a proven track record of generating economic growth. Reinstating patent reform will unleash innovation and remove the economic drag caused by bogus patent lawsuits.
A “patent troll” is a shell company that owns weak patents and often files unfair patent lawsuits against small, innovative companies. Target trolling companies must thrive to reverse the current economic trend.
Trolls don’t care that suits are unfair or hurt the economy. they are there for the money.
And they are notorious for filing lawsuits in troll-friendly jurisdictions in the hope that a friendly judge will rule in their favor. We handle approximately 25% of all pending patent litigation nationwide. His district court now handles about 1,000 patent cases a year, up from about 1 patent case a year he recently handled in 2017. It’s a legal blow.
This “forum shopping” of trolls got so serious in the US District Court for the West District of Texas that at the end of July, the Chief Justice of the US District Court for the West Texas ruled that all files filed with the Waco Division in the District ordered patent litigation. Randomly assigned to all 11 different court departments there.
Overstock continues to be harassed by patent troll lawsuits, but not when we were a startup. I then saw firsthand how these fake suits were hurting small businesses and this country.
And consumers are the unknowing victims. One study found that patent trolls cost U.S. companies $29 billion in losses each year, and that patent trolls discourage investment in research and development. Now: Who, if not the consumer, is doing the billing?
SMEs face a no-win scenario when facing bogus patent troll lawsuits. They can fight back and pay hefty legal fees or make hefty settlements. stimulate their appetite.
One of the main goals of this administration is to deny the country’s economic outflow by giving these patent trolls a natural ankle weight. The companies they target can use their resources where they do best: hiring, innovating, expanding production and sales.
Fortunately, in 2011, Congress gave the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) the tools to act. It passed the American Invents Act (AIA). The AIA has enabled the USPTO to establish: between the parties Prosecution (IPR) is a review process that allows expert judges to filter out low-quality patents that have been weaponized by trolls.
and fortunately, From 2014 to 2019 it worked fine. The AIA’s reforms have resulted in an estimated $2.6 billion in direct cost savings by limiting instances of bogus patent trolls. It is also estimated that the reforms increased gross output by about $3 billion and personal income by more than $1.4 billion over the same period.
Unfortunately, we are seeing a setback in recent reforms. USPTO rules are weakening, limiting a company’s ability to access his IPR process, giving trolls an edge over innovators. Sadly, businesses are once again stuck between a rock and a hard place: fight the trolls or feed them.
At this time, we must do everything possible to foster economic growth and protect the companies that contribute to it. It is similar to the intention of the AIA, which passed Congress bipartisanly in 2011, to convince the current administration, the USPTO, and Congress to stop this economic drain by returning the IPR to full power. By doing so, it means wiping out the legal landscape of bogus patent litigation.
The USPTO Director recently issued interim guidance and a formal rulemaking process that we hope will help restore balance to the US patent system. In addition, Senators Thom Tillis (Republican of North Carolina) and Patrick Leahy (Democrat of Vermont) introduced legislation that would be a positive step toward a greater focus on patent review and quality.
Those changes need to be seen. By freeing her trolls and their lawyers from the diet and putting them back on the bench, companies and innovators will have a much-needed lifeline to spur national economic growth. Let’s finish this.
Jonathan Johnson CEO of overstock.com