Having worked for Microsoft Research and the technology industry, I fully support enabling an environment for new and constant innovation, particularly in a competitive and free market economy. Almost all the new technology and services we enjoy today like the Internet are developed by taking on different parts of innovative technology and ideas pioneered by a variety of sources such as universities, government agencies and research firms together.
Therefore I am excited about news of the US Innovation Act which aims to address the problem of abusive patent litigation by patent trolls, diverting companies on focusing in creating new innovations. Patent trolls are entities which exerts questionable patent rights against alleged infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not actually manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question – a typical economic rent seeking behaviour.
Hopefully the new Innovation Act will “level the playing field by controlling discovery costs, raising pleading standards, and making fee-shifting a more meaningful deterrent to frivolous allegations“. (H/T: Innovation, Not Litigation, Google Public Policy blog)
Troll – Zoe, used under Creative Commons licence.