A little known part of patent reform endangers all patents


By David J. Kappos in The Hill

The stories follow a now-familiar theme, evoking sympathy for the victim and indignation calculated to spur political action.

The victim: an older couple’s family-owned restaurant, or a young inventor’s breakthrough tech start-up, or a small town’s general-merchandise store that’s beloved by generations of local residents.

And the threat? “Patent trolls”.  More specifically, a letter informing the victim that she uses, say, a Wi-Fi router or computer scanner with patented technology inside and demanding a hefty fee lest the patent owner take the victim to court. The well-meaning but anxious victim, unacquainted with the intricacies of patent law, has little choice: Pay up, hire a lawyer and face exorbitant legal fees, or close their business. 

What could be more unfair?