There’s been much ado in the patent community over the past week over the re-introduction of H.R. 845, the Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act of 2013 — more commonly known as the SHIELD Act. This legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), seeks to “protect American tech companies from frivolous patent lawsuits that cost jobs and resources” by implementing a “loser pays” fee-shifting paradigm for patent infringement cases brought by certain types of non-practicing entities. (A prior version introduced last year, H.R. 6245, was much more limited in its implementation of fee-shifting.)
While this is a bit off-topic for our blog, we thought this proposed legislation is sufficiently important to our readers that we’d do a brief post on it — especially given the penchant by some NPEs to assert standard-essential patents. The legislation (at least as it’s currently drafted) has raised a lot of questions and issues and has generated a lot of commentary (both pro and con) from the business and legal communities. After the jump, we’ll run through a quick summary of the provisions of the SHIELD Act, some first impressions about questions it may raise, and provide some links to a variety of others’ views on the proposed law.