Consumer Technology Association Preaches Patent Troll Fairy Tale to Crowd During Fireside Chat with Iancu at SXSW

By Jeff Hardin
March 20, 2019

“What the CTA fails to recognize in their patent troll mischaracterization is that the particular design of the American patent system in its early beginnings is what has enabled it to do what no other patent system in the world has before—to energize the inventive spirit and genius of the private citizen.”

https://depositphotos.com/64688489/stock-illustration-fairy-tale-castle.htmlUSPTO Director Andrei Iancu participated in a fireside chat, titled “The Crossroads of Technology and Innovation,” hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) at its sixth annual Innovation Policy Day on Tuesday, March 12 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Sitting with Director Iancu was host Michael Hayes, Sr. Manager of Government Affairs for the CTA. The chat was quite short and briefly touched on topics such as celebrating the 10 millionth-issued patent, the preparedness of the patent system for the future, artificial intelligence and patent eligibility, and the availability of patenting for all peoples. Then, in what some may consider to be an unscrupulous move, Hayes introduced the narrative of patent trolls:

Hayes (CTA host):

“Time being limited, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up patent trolls. We have an audience full of tech entrepreneurs and people who work at tech companies. Unfortunately, a lot of them have personal experience with this, right? They may be named inventors on patents, but they’re spending their time and their legal team’s time fighting these junk lawsuits. And for those of you that haven’t experienced this, when I say “patent trolls”, I’m talking about entities that use patents simply as a weapon in litigation. They are trying to use them for a quick shakedown.”

The CTA is a trade association that markets itself on its website as an advocate for technologists and encourages companies to become paying members. For the CTA to preach the “patent troll” narrative to the crowd, and right in front of Director Iancu at that, was rather striking, but it was not entirely unexpected given that the CEO of the CTA is Gary Shapiro, who has been exposed for taking a self-righteous stand against patent trolls despite having an obvious bias in favor of infringers. At least the CTA’s attempt to goad the audience into a troll frenzy fell flat, as not one person in the crowd indicated they had any such experience.

Iancu Calls Out Patent Troll Fairy Tale

One may recall that, during his previous visit to the Lone Star State, Director Iancu called out the patent troll narrative as a fairy tale and “Orwellian ‘doublespeak’,” saying that those who advance the narrative do so deceitfully; they argue that they support innovation, yet by their “highlighting, relentlessly, the dangers in the patent system,” do otherwise. He stated that the zeal to eliminate “trolls” and “the bad patents” has resulted in an over-correction and risks throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and he voiced his stance against preaching the fairy tale of patent trolls. “This must now end, and we must restore balance to our system,” Director Iancu emphasized in October.

Now, with Director Iancu’s statements still ringing in the air, Hayes nevertheless decided to double down on the CTA’s position and preach the “patent troll” fairy tale to the audience. He then posited his question to Director Iancu:

“What can we do to make sure that, moving forward, our patent system gets back into the hands of inventors, that it is really for the inventor, and it’s not for their patent lawyer, right? We prevent people from weaponizing these things, and we get back to making sure at their core that a patent is about inventing something and then creating something wonderful – something that really benefits people.”

It should be noted that the view expressed by the CTA here is incorrect as far as what a patent actually does provide to those holding its title. With such an incorrect view, it is evident why one might believe in the patent troll fairy tale. Any informed inventor or patent practitioner will tell you that a patent does not grant the right for its owner to create anything. Rather, a United States patent is an exclusionary right, and, as per the statement provided by the USPTO on the face of an issued patent, “grants to the person(s) having [its title] the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States … .” Regarding an inventor’s right to exclude others being recently trampled by the Supreme Court in its 2006 eBay decision, that is a separate issue, but nowhere in the law does a patent grant to a person having its title the right to create or produce something, as suggested by the CTA. Accordingly, asserting one’s patent rights, even without creating something, is not weaponizing, but merely enforcing the rights of the entity holding its title to exclude others. Failing to recognize this fact—and failing to recognize that many individual inventors do hold title to their patents and are incentivized by licensing their work product—does indeed risk over-correction that throws out the baby with the bathwater, as Director Iancu said, and actions that take rights away from these inventors discourage innovation all the more.

Rightly so, Director Iancu focused his response on support of the original innovation of the inventor and the need for balance:

“A patent, and the patent system in general, needs to be carefully balanced. We want to make sure we have a system that incentivizes that original innovation, that gives the inventors the right to their original innovations, that allows investments to be made in such innovation with a level confidence that, if successful, the benefits of that investment can be recouped.”

Director Iancu said that Hayes was referring to a particular kind of abuse, and the Patent Office wants “to identify, surface, and deal with any abuses in the system.”

One hopes that Iancu recognizes that the practice of efficient infringement—an identified abuse of the patent system that was interestingly, and perhaps strategically, omitted by the CTA in this fireside chat—is more dangerous to our innovation system than the mythical patent trolls ever were. One example of efficient infringement occurs when a company chooses to use (i.e. infringe upon) patented technology without seeking a licensing arrangement with the rightful patent owner in hopes that the owner cannot bear the financial gauntlet of litigation to defend his patent rights.

Preaching Fiction to Weaken the System

Now, follow the business logic here. The CTA offers different member programs to its paying members, one program being the Disruptive Innovation Council. Its members include such “disruptive” businesses such as Airbnb, Boingo, Facebook, Google, Pandora, Snapchat, Uber, etc. The CTA promotes “provid[ing] support and advocacy to help [these] disruptive innovation companies navigate market and policy challenges” as one of its key initiatives. Any observer to this arrangement may reasonably ask, “So what happens when one of these ‘disruptive’ companies has a product that relies on technology patented by a non-CTA member, and thus the policy challenge becomes patent law?” Well, if one of these companies owns patents themselves, it might very well make business sense in this instance for it to view its patents as weapons in litigation for a quick shakedown, as mentioned by Hayes, because it can use its patents to attack the innovators (or their licensees) whose technology it wants to use.

But perhaps it makes even more sense for these companies, once they reach the top of the ladder, to pull up the ladder by weakening the patent system entirely so that innovators cannot afford to enforce their patents when these companies decide to engage in efficient infringement. And what is one way to accomplish the goal of weakening the patent system? Preaching the patent troll fairy tale, as Director Iancu wisely pointed out.

It then goes without saying that not only was the patent troll narrative unilaterally pushed by the CTA in this fireside chat, but the CTA’s support for post grant reviews was made clear. When Director Iancu mentioned the existence of post grant review proceedings put into place by the America Invents Act (AIA) to address the abuse the CTA was concerned about, Hayes smiled and said, while pointing to the back of the room, “I can see some companies that have actually used those proceedings over there, so, yeah, they are enormously important.”

However, given that some independent inventors were also present in the audience, and that none of them were on the panel to challenge the CTA’s position, one might ask, “Are these so-called ‘enormously important’ post grant reviews supported by everyone in the room? Could it be the case that the CTA here is merely trying to cater to their paying member companies with such a comment?” Director Iancu stressed that the purpose of the statute that created post grant review proceedings was to create a less expensive, faster alternative to district court litigation. At least Director Iancu wants to stay true to that congressional intent, stating his desire to provide standards that do provide these efficiencies, and the record shows that he has indeed worked diligently to provide harmonizing standards. However, given the testimony of Josh Malone and the staggering costs he has endured in the fight for his patent rights, one may legitimately question whether or not these reviews, at their core, do indeed provide a better alternative to private citizens.

Private Citizen Stands Up

In fact, during the Q&A following the panel discussion, I personally stood and announced myself as an independent inventor, holding my patents in hand, and Director Iancu’s face immediately lit up with joy. An independent inventor was in the room! I thanked him for signing my last patent, and I then challenged these post grant reviews held against private citizens, asking Director Iancu if he found it fair that no inventor who entered into the patent bargain and disclosed his invention to the public prior to the AIA subscribed to the substantial rule changes that were retroactively applied by the AIA to patents having priority dates that predated the law. I reminded Director Iancu that he has the power to deny institution of an IPR, and I asked whether he would consider first his oath to defend and support the Constitution— in which the Takings, Due Process, and Ex Post Facto Clauses are immediately present—as a way to protect the patent grant on which the inventors who never entered into the AIA “patent bargain” so dearly rely.

Director Iancu responded by saying that, although the Supreme Court in Oil States (2018) did not address this, he could not comment on whether he found retroactive application of IPRs fair because this question was currently being litigated. He did say that currently, “as an administrative agency, we are going to enforce the laws that are on the books.”

Indeed, retroactive application of IPRs is unfair to all inventors holding patents having priority dates prior to the AIA, as these inventors did not subject themselves, nor did they agree, to the provisions of the AIA title when their inventions were disclosed. One need to look no further than Federalist No. 44 to see that our founders understood that laws such as the AIA applied retroactively “are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation.” Had I known, for example, that the rules were going to be so drastically changed in the middle of the game by way of the AIA’s new rules and procedures, I would have never disclosed my inventions to the public in the first place. All I can do now is hope that the courts will ultimately favor justice and fairness for innovative individuals holding such patents with respect to the original patent bargain and social contract into which they entered and the patent property rights they have been granted.

America, Standing Out

Now, what the CTA fails to recognize in their patent troll mischaracterization is that the particular design of the American patent system in its early beginnings is what has enabled it to do what no other patent system in the world has before—to energize the inventive spirit and genius of the private citizen. At the birth of our nation, our founders were pressed with creating political stability and the growth of American industry for the nation’s economic survival. The construction of our Constitution was intentional and careful, and what blossomed was an intellectual property clause crafted to stimulate innovation. As a result, for the first time in history, a private citizen—an individual, the common person—could specialize fully in inventive work, and the result of that innovation was treated the same as a property right.

Make no mistake about it; what made the United States the leader in innovation and the most prosperous nation on earth was its unbiased and meritorious patent system that enabled ordinary private citizens, even those without large financial resources, to innovate and publish their inventions in return for a patent grant, and denigrating any independent inventors as “patent trolls” for protecting their work product not only raises questions as to one’s motive, it’s anti-American.

Image Source: Deposit Photos
Copyright: azzzya
ID: 64688489

The Author

Jeff Hardin

Jeff Hardin is a business owner and independent inventor holding multiple patents in software-related fields. He currently serves on the board of advisors for the Inventor Rights Coalition.

For more information or to contact Jeff, visit the Inventor Rights Coalition.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 20 Comments comments.

  1. Josh Malone March 20, 2019 7:05 pm

    Great job standing up and speaking out Jeff!. With respect to your 5th Amendment question, it is unfortunate but the USPTO does not get to advance the proper view on that. In fact the Justice Department is advancing the position in recent weeks that if the government takes away your patent it means you never had a patent so they didn’t take anything. The value of a revoked patent is $0 and it was always $0 according to the DoJ. The hijacking of the American patent system and basic rule of law is occurring right in front of us.

  2. Jim March 20, 2019 8:56 pm

    As an independent inventor and a member of CTA, I disagree with the stated view of the CTA on patents (and patent trolls) as stated at SXSW. While the CTA does a good job on promoting entrepreneurs (including inventors), they do tend to be controlled by those larger corporations or those who have deep pockets (CES should be a good indication).

    So we have big corporate who controls the inept congress on any patent reform and then the SC who are clueless – not sure any inventor is safe for a patent in the U.S.

  3. Pro Say March 20, 2019 9:15 pm

    Great article — thanks Jeff for publicly standing up and speaking out for the rights — and the wrongs committed against — inventors.

  4. Jason Lee March 20, 2019 10:00 pm

    “Patent Troll” was invented and created by Silicon Valley. They invented the Boogeyman so they could push through the anti patent bills so they would not have to pay a IP holder. The gig is up and the pro patent bill could not come soon enough. It’s been hell for IP holders, it’s time patent holders get paid.

  5. mike March 21, 2019 12:03 am

    Hear, hear!

    To Josh’s point, if the Justice Department says a patent holder never had a patent if the government later takes it away, then what was the thing that was granted? A mere ‘promise’ in something that only becomes a real, enforceable thing if it passes all future validity challenges? This makes no sense. What happened to “patents shall have the attributes of personal property”?

    If what the Justice Department says is true, we best start using/”inventing” some new words when we speak and/or the PTO needs to include a lot of asterisks on the face of the patent when it is issued. All patent holders should be receiving a Notice of Correction in the mail as to what they actually possess: a mere “promise” to a property title only enforceable upon survival of all possible challenges, aka, “nothing real”.

    As I’ve said on this blog before, the words “grant”, “right”, “exclude others”, and “private property” have no meaning anymore. Not only is there no trust in the patent grant, but we cannot even rely on the meaning of words. God help us

  6. Benny March 21, 2019 6:03 am

    “…the practice of efficient infringement—an identified abuse of the patent system…”

    I was under the impression that enforcement of patent rights was not the responsibility of the USPTO.

  7. Anon2 March 21, 2019 9:06 am

    CTA: “…we get back to making sure at their core that a patent is about inventing something and then creating something wonderful – something that really benefits people.”

    This is backwards and completely inverts the point of individual rights in a free country.

    Rights are not “permissions” given by the State as a diktat of social engineering to achieve the goals of the State or for the benefit of anyone else (the Collective)… not in a truly free country which respects individual rights at any rate.

    Rights are inalienable possessions of each individual, and the rights to the fruits of one’s own creation (even time limited rights) recognizes the most basic and fundamental right to property, i.e. ownership, in that creation, it is not merely some social engineering incentive to effect the distribution of an inventor’s higher intellect to benefit the public at large … patent rights are a recognition of the property of the creator.

    As for the graceful mischaracterization of inventors as bleeding heart philanthropists out to make the world the world a better place or to benefit others, that there is a socialist-altruist flavor in this is clear…. whether that is used merely as an attempt to persuade or is genuine is another issue.

    Make no mistake, inventors HAVE a right to their invention, they have a right to exploit their inventions and act in voluntary trade in a free market to profit as much as the free market dictates. They have a right to their own life and the pursuit of their own happiness… and that is only fair.

    The core of inventing something is being able to own the value of one’s own creation as a property right, and all that entails.

  8. Steve Hoffberg March 21, 2019 9:45 am

    I believe the next frontier is a request for refund of all fees paid for patents that were not appropriately granted. If the government believes it made a mistake, it should gladly refund the fees it collected based on its own error. With interest? If it wants to keep the fees, it should defend the correctness of its actions. Ever see a response to a petition for exercise of supervisory authority? The Examiner is always right… [If the patent office is now really open to considering its own errors, why not do so BEFORE the patent issues? Did the presumption of administrative correctness evaporate?]

    And, perhaps the solicitor’s office should have a counsel ready, willing and able to defend the correctness of the prior administrative proceeding, especially for pro se patentees. Would this not enhance the integrity of the process? I can think of no other area of government where there is a special branch that makes a profit on undoing what another part of the same organization does. Talk about perverse incentives…

    It’s time to turn the world upside down, and call out the mumbo jumbo verbiage, and recycle the false logic back from where it came.

    Finally, perhaps we need to consider whether the grant of a later determined “defective” or “invalid” patent is actually a “mistake”, or an intentional government policy. If intentional, then this clearly represents a taking violative of the 5th amendment, regardless of whether one can get a 7th amendment jury to hear the case.

    I think Iancu is _great_ [without equivocation]. Given the constraints of his role, he is doing a remarkable job of continually taking definitive steps to address and fix problems. But, that it not to say that there are not many existing problems, that need to be called out.

  9. Paul Morinville March 21, 2019 10:18 am

    If a patent can be taken as if it never existed, then no patents exist.

    Patent in China. Forget the US. It is set up to create a false sense of protection to encourage you to disclose your invention allowing big corps to take it. It is a devious game dependent on suckers who mistakenly trust the US government.

    The US patent system is a disgraceful sham.

  10. PTO-Indentured March 21, 2019 11:15 am

    U.S. Patent Issuance Disclaimer: This contract, made between the applicant and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, incudes terminology, which upon issuance of this U.S. patent, in accordance with terms of eloquent simplicity promulgated in the U.S. Constitution, while seemingly appearing on this day to be clear, evident and straightforward to both parties, shall be subject to change, at any time within the life of this issuing patent. More particularly, the applicant understands and agrees, henceforth, that any constitutionally assured property right appearing to be in effect on this day — however memorialized in plain language — shall be subject to such interpretation, at any future time, even absent judicial authority, to an extent that: no property right shall exist; the patent issuing today shall not exist; or, such that the patent, and/or any claim thereof is so weakened that one or more, or serial, challengers thereof shall easily prevail in invalidating, or in increasing a cost of defending the patent, such that the inventor e.g., if having claimed a small-entity status, loses the patent, faces bankruptcy and/or is forced to give up the profession of inventing altogether.

    Perhaps the CTA and its steward of dubious intentions, might like to help lobby for the above disclaimer. So that the realities of ‘efficient infringement’ can continue to thrive, while the myth of the still-unproven ‘patent troll’ fairly tale goes on, and on and on…

  11. anony March 21, 2019 11:43 am

    Before the AIA and Alice, small and midsize (and large) businesses could be harassed by attorneys suing over patents that would merely survive a motion for summary judgment in a plaintiff friendly court, but that would have a low overall chance of being successfully litigated. These suits could be settled for a fraction of the price of litigating the first set of motions. This activity led to the patent troll narrative, the AIA, and the decision in Alice, i.e., the current dismantling of the patent system.

    To fix the patent system by merely winding the clock back to before the AIA and Alice would likely trigger a repeat of the previous narrative and another call to dismantle the patent system and, thus, not create a truly sustainable solution. What’s needed are solutions that (1) address the needs of small under capitalized inventors to obtain enforceable patents that allow them to monetize their intellectual property and that (2) address the needs of small, medium, and large businesses to provide products and services without being harassed by excessively expensive and uncertain litigation over patents that may not even be infringed.

    It does not seem like either side is willing to consider creative solutions that have a chance at addressing the needs of both sides. The pro patent side wants to remake the patent system as it was before the AIA and Alice at exorbitant cost to small and midsize businesses and the anti patent side wants to continue the status quo of a system where patents are invalidated over sophistic trivialities at exorbitant cost to the inventor.

    Creative solutions are available, yet the only ideas being discussed are reactionary responses that promulgate the current status quo or call for returning to the previous status quo.

  12. mike March 21, 2019 2:33 pm

    @Benny:

    >> “…the practice of efficient infringement—an identified abuse of the patent system…”
    >> I was under the impression that enforcement of patent rights was not the responsibility of the USPTO.

    Enforcement of patent rights is not the responsibility of the USPTO. But the practice of efficient infringement definitely includes abusing the patent system. For example, serial challenges at the PTAB — which is part of the efficient infringement calculation — presents hardship for small patent owners, bringing the intent of the AIA patent system into question. If you can bleed the small patent owner dry, then do it from all angles possible.

  13. mike March 21, 2019 3:19 pm

    Steve Hoffberg:

    >> I can think of no other area of government where there is a special branch that makes a profit on undoing what another part of the same organization does. Talk about perverse incentives…

    >> It’s time to turn the world upside down, and call out the mumbo jumbo verbiage, and recycle the false logic back from where it came.

    I’m quoting you here for emphasis. Your statements here are so true.

    >> I believe the next frontier is a request for refund of all fees paid for patents that were not appropriately granted. If the government believes it made a mistake, it should gladly refund the fees it collected based on its own error. With interest?

    But what determines just compensation? I don’t believe a simple refund of fees and interest will be sufficient. There is attorney time and inventor time, development, and investments made by investors, etc.

    Plus, we also must consider what it is that is being taken here. The government is taking an issued patent upon which people rely, and giving this thing that provided exclusivity over a claimed invention away to the public. So now the invention is available to all. So if an inventor holds a patent and obtains a license from Google for $10M, and then Apple decides to challenge and the PTAB takes the patent and the claimed invention is now given to the public, what is just compensation for taking this claimed and protected invention away from its rightful owner (with a worth of at least $10M) and giving it away to the public?

    Yeah, that whole “patents shall have the attributes of personal property” combined with the Takings clause presents a problem if Congress wants to continue down the path of reconsidering something that has already been granted. My position is that ALL examination from the Patent Office must be done prior to grant. Once a patent has been granted by the PTO, it’s job has been done. Reviewing validity should be done in the courts.

  14. PTO-Indentured March 21, 2019 4:07 pm

    Anony @11

    “…businesses could be harassed by attorneys suing over patents”… “This activity led to the patent troll narrative, the AIA, and the decision in Alice…”

    First, your premise could literally read “…businesses (just 2), could be harassed by attorneys (e.g., 2) suing over patents (no more than 3).” That fact that any noun reaches a mere plurality, does not suffice.

    Second, the conclusion relying on your generalized premise has never been adequately, objectively or rationally substantiated.

    Please substantiate where you allege there is some “pro patent side” that “wants to remake the patent system as it was before AIA and Alice” and that such a change necessarily/only equates to: “at exhorbitant cost to small and midsize businesses” and/or is likely to “repeat of the previous narrative” (i.e., you mean the ‘Fairy Tale’ one? The ‘Kool-Aid’ one?).

    A. Please then fairly contrast any historically accurate and verifiable record of such a patent system caused “exhorbitant cost” e.g., occurring 3-5 years prior to AIA, against a fair and accurate assessment of the enormous economic losses directly attributable to an AIA patent system that nose-dived to a 12-ranked in the world state (possibly still a hair’s breadth from that rank today). In an accurate USD value or range (and/or win/loss case-outcome ratio).

    B. Contrast as accurately as possible the enormous economic losses directly attributable to the “anti-patent side”. For example, accounting fairly for ‘efficient infringement’ consequences; loss of U.S. innovation and investment; a near total stagnation of the U.S. Elite Tech Co.s to bring any Next Big Thing to market since AIA (e.g., causing Apple to loose a half trillion dollars in stock value in a single day), and, a near obliteration of the U.S. individual inventor livelihood / profession. In an accurate USD value or range.

    C. Now, subtract the A’s accurate USD value or range from that of B’s, and let us all see and decide objectively, where your term: “exorbitant”, truly prevailed.

    P.S. Stating — “Creative solutions are available, yet the only ideas being discussed are reactionary responses…” — without sharing any actual “solution”, or clarification of what you believe to be such, is not very helpful. Particularly following non-solution, generalized, if not overly-simplified comments.

  15. @DaveBarcelou March 21, 2019 6:34 pm

    PTO-Indentured @14 Here’s one solution. When the term “Patent Troll” is determined to be DEFAMATORY, it will help eliminate its weaponized use by pseudo-journalists and front companies for ‘Big Tech’ (such as the EFF), who currently write any-thing about any-body w/o ‘any-substantiation’. The threat of being sued by “inventors” (as a class of patent owners like Jeff & I) for something other than ‘efficient infringement’ may help alleviate much of the pain of being ‘BRANDED’ as EXTORTIONISTS, BLACKMAILERS & SHAKEDOWN ARTISTS!

  16. PTO-Indentured March 21, 2019 7:07 pm

    Too Bold @10 — My apologies for undue boldness (typo)
    Now of a better ‘type’:

    There’s an old saying in the legal profession that goes: “Contracts are only as good as the parties that enter into them.”

    Does every new patent now need to come with a truth-in-advertising disclaimer?
    For example:

    U.S. Patent Issuance Disclaimer: This contract, made between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the applicant, includes terminology, which — upon issuance of this U.S. patent, was in accord with terms of eloquent simplicity promulgated in the U.S. Constitution. While seemingly appearing so on this day, to be clear, evident and straightforward to both parties — such terminology shall nonetheless be subject to change, at any time within the life of this issuing patent, and then be applicable e.g., even retroactively. More particularly, applicant understands and agrees, henceforth, that any constitutionally assured property right appearing to have been in effect on this day — however memorialized in plain language — shall be subject to such interpretation, at any future time, even absent judicial authority, to an extent that: a.) no property right shall exist; b.) the patent issuing today shall no longer exist; c.) the patent is re-construed “a franchise” or, d.) such that the patent, and/or any claim thereof is so weakened that one or more, or even serial, challengers thereof, shall easily prevail in invalidating, or in so increasing a cost of defending the patent, that the inventor e.g., if of a small-entity or ‘NPE’ class, loses his or her patent, is faced with bankruptcy (and/or is required to pay all attorneys fees); and/or, e.) is forced out of the profession and must give up inventing altogether.

    Perhaps the CTA and its steward of dubious intentions, might like to help lobby for acceptance of the above disclaimer. So that the realities of ‘efficient infringement’ are further perpetuated, while the myth of the still-unproven ‘patent troll’ fairly tale goes on, and on and on, and …

  17. Peter Kramer March 22, 2019 2:57 am

    Since the patent is a sword and not a shield, it’s not possible to weaponize – it’s already a weapon. One who says “weaponizing a patent” may just as well say “weaponize a knife” or “weaponize a gun.”

  18. TheTruth March 22, 2019 10:41 am

    @anony:

    You confuse 2 separate issues, and mis-categorize pro-patent rights people as having polar opposite views regarding the sending of harassing letters from patent owners (whether practicing or not) that have the sole desire of settling for less than the cost of defending against a lawsuit.

    There is a 2 step solution:

    1) Restore full patent rights to their pre-AIA / eBay condition

    2) pass legislation that specifically targets narrowly defined “abusive legal tactics”.

    Trying to roll the conversation into one dialogue/legislation unjustly paints the picture that both “sides” have equal weight and impact. The reality is that it is more like 99% (crushing patent rights) vs. <1% (sending harrowing lettters) in terms of economic impact.

  19. Gary Lauder March 22, 2019 8:19 pm

    In a speech that I made 15 months ago, I pointed out that the CTA is the most vocal proponent of the troll narrative due to its membership mainly being asian electronics makers who are not prolific innovators. That is at 11:55 out of this 24-minute presentation: http://bit.ly/AttackOnPatentSystem
    I don’t know why their motivations have not been more broadly discussed/exposed since it’s pretty self-evident.

  20. mike March 24, 2019 1:01 am

    @Gary Lauder. I just watched your entire presentation. Very informative and eye opening. The information in this presentation — http://bit.ly/AttackOnPatentSystem — needs to be shared to every member of Congress.