Senate Set to Improve Patent Trolling Bill
The state Senate is poised to make changes to a proposal designed to knock out patent trolling in Connecticut.
Patent trolling is when individuals or groups try to extort settlement payments from businesses by making false claims of patent ownership related to various business tools and practices. Trolls often target small companies that have little or no experience in dealing with intellectual property rights issues.
Under SB 258, Connecticut’s attorney general would be given certain powers to combat bad-faith patent infringement claims and take action against patent trolls.
CBIA and a coalition of interested businesses and other organizations are proposing some improvements to both strengthen the bill and ensure that valid patent claims continue to be enforceable.
These changes, which have been incorporated into three Senate amendments to the bill, include:
- Allowing victims of patent trolling claims to be able to prove either deception or vagueness in the claims. Proving deception is a much higher standard than vagueness, and victims of patent trolls often face claims that are vague. Allowing trolling victims to prove vagueness or deception will help protect them.
- Clarifying that court-ordered damages are only available to victims of patent trolls and not to the patent trolls themselves.
- Ensuring that valid patent holders will not be accidentally harmed as a result of the legislation and that valid patents will be protected, not compromised, as a result of the bill.
Adopting the changes to SB 258 would go a long way toward both discouraging patent trolling and protecting valid patent claims.
And the Senate seems to agree, with each of the three amendments including the suggested changes.
CBIA encourages state lawmakers to approve SB 258 with the changes.
For more information, email Eric George.
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