New patent lawsuits are down for the first time in five years. Here’s why that’s a huge deal.


By Brian Fung in The Washington Post

For months, Congress has moved steadily toward a bill that targets patent trolls — companies that own patents but don't make any products with them. The problem, critics say, is that the patent holders will sue innocent companies in hopes they'll simply settle for a bunch of cash. But even as firms like Etsy and Kickstarter hit Capitol Hill this week to press the case against abusive patent lawsuits, a new study shows that the pace of litigation has actually slipped — for the first time in five years.

This is a big deal for a whole range of industries, not just the tech sector. It's happening at a time when the spotlight on frivolous patent lawsuits has never been brighter. And that makes it a surprising find.