Federal Trade Commission

Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released a 269-page Report following its study of patent assertion entities (“PAEs”) — i.e. what the FTC’s press release calls “firms that acquire patents from third parties and then try to make money by licensing or suing accused infringers.” (see our Sep. 27, 2013 post, May 21, 2014 post and Aug. 14, 2014 post for background on this PAE study).  The report is based on a study of public information as well as non-public information that the FTC used its subpeona power to obtain resulting in data covering the 2009 to 2014 period from 22 PAEs, 327 PAE affilidate and over 2100 holding entities (entities that owned but did not assert patents).

The report indicates that not all PAEs are the same and concerns about PAEs should be focused on problematic behavior of a subset of PAEs–i.e., certain Litigation PAEs, but not Porfolio PAEs.  The report also indicates that there is no widespread concern about PAEs sending demand letters or PAEs owning standard essential patents subject to a FRAND or other standard setting licensing commitment.  The report provides some recommendations concerning patent reform, which are directed to patent litigation and the behavior of some Litigation PAEs.
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Yesterday, we reported on the manager’s amendments to the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act, or “PATENT Act,” a bi-partisan patent reform bill introduced by Senator Leahy and several other Senators.  After two additional amendments by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during yesterday’s mark-up session, the committee approved the bill by a vote of 

On Tuesday, a proposed Manager’s Amendment was released for the Senate’s pending PATENT Act bill.  Following is a recap of the recent wave of patent legislation proposals this year.

Innovation Act.  Since 2013, the House and the Senate have considered various forms of patent reform legislation that attempt to address perceived patent litigation abuse. 

Following an investigation of alleged deceptive patent-assertion practices, the FTC has reached settlement with non-practicing entity MPHJ (the so-called “scanner troll”) and its counsel, Farney Daniels PC. The resolution has resulted in an agreement and consent order that would bar MPHJ and the Farney Daniels firm from making misrepresentations — including deceptive claims concerning the

Yesterday, the Second Circuit in Lotus v. Hon Hai Precision affirmed the district court’s dismissal of antitrust and breach of contract claims arising from foreign activity based on the patent owner not licensing, but asserting in litigation in China, patents subject to FRAND-Z (i.e., royalty free) standard setting obligations.  Consistent with the U.S. Federal Trade

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently published a Federal Register notice seeking additional public comments on the FTC’s proposed collection of information about Patent Assertion Entities (“PAEs”) (see our Sep. 27, 2013 post about the FTC’s first notice about the PAE study).  Public comments are due by June 18, 2014.

Generally.  In this notice,

Hopefully the current patent reform effort to address perceived patent litigation abuse problems will result in carefully targeted tweaks to–without harming–our otherwise thriving U.S. patent system, the greatest system for innovation that the world has ever known (see our Patent Forest post).  The Senate is currently considering this balance.  The Senate Judiciary Committee was

As we discussed in a prior post, the U.S. Senate is currently debating a patent reform bill (“the Innovation Act”) passed by the House of Representatives late last year directed to perceived patent litigation abuse by certain patent assertion entities (what some characterize as “patent trolls”).  The Senate is also debating a competing bill