Old But Newly Found Weapon to Wield in IP Lawsuits

Old But Newly Found Weapon to Wield in IP Lawsuits

As trolls continue their mission of buying up dormant patents for the purpose of filing litigation, a recent report by the Wall Street Journal says companies might have found a controversial weapon to help in the ongoing battle against intellectual property lawsuits.

In a post on Inside Counsel, Stefanie Mosca observed that the WSJ reports businesses are getting help from the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, she says the PTAB is a small, but powerful, authority that allows those facing a lawsuit to challenge whether the patent should have been issued in the first place.

Congress created the PTAB in 2011 in response to concerns from corporations, especially those in the technology sector, over infringement lawsuits filed by patent trolls. Mosca says recently the board issued 25 written decisions concerning patent challenges, upholding parts of challenged patents in some of them.

The law allows the PTAB to hear challenges to certain types of patents. Mosca says a provision in the current bill moving through Congress would change the way the board reviews each patent, making challenges more difficult to win. The Obama administration has been urging Congress to pass legislation to help fight frivolous lawsuits filed by trolls.

Mosca says although the end to the war may not be in sight, positive steps are being taken.

Sherry Karabin is a freelance writer and reporter based in New York City. Email: sherry.karabin@yahoo.com.

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