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A Debate Against Patent Trolling

A Debate Against Patent Trolling

As competition is getting tight in technology sector, some companies really know how to make money with the lawsuits. Patent troll gets the benefit of the deficiency in patent system and makes money by suing companies for living. There is actually not one great innovation that today’s technology has invented. The truth is, giant technology manufacturers are developing what has existed long ago.

This issue has been taken into account very seriously in the White House after Obama stated that hijacking someone’s idea to make money is inevitably wrong act. Patent system, especially in software development, is supposed to protect innovations and creative ideas. The system is meant to legitimate a new creation of ideas development since the absence of boundaries have enabled people to share ideas. However, the weak law becomes an advantage for the trolls to extort money from companies. And they are hitting huge amount of settlements.

A survey conducted on Google company stated that Google spent more budget on patent than on research. For a tech company like Google, aren’t they supposed to invest more on research? In reality, once software may carry hundreds of patents. And the abstract system of granting patents has made these trolls easily find weak points of a program and quickly suing the company for that particular reason.

Patent troller can file multiple cases against one company. The tactics have made huge settlements for them. And because the patents have been brutally abused, US Senator John Cornyn finally introduced Patent Abuse Reduction Act. In a nutshell, this reduction act allows identity revelation of a company or individual who files a lawsuit and gives time for the defendant for discovery process.

It can bring a fair judgment and become a boomerang for the trolls. If the accused of infringement fights back and wins in court, patent trollers might become the one with bills to pay. Cornyn assures that abusers who claim an intellectual property will pay the consequence. Hence, it is necessary for a company to have enough and convincing thorough report before they sue any developer.

On the other hand, the act has raised another problem. The reduction act does not cover consumer’s protection against lawsuit and only emphasized on how patent trolls should think twice before filing anything in court. Instead of solving the real problem, the bill forgets to mention this kind of detail for end users.

Nonetheless, the introduction of the policy has at least settled the problem for awhile, knowing that the issue has entered a formal path and become a debate. Patent trolling has become a threat to the widely spread technologies. A question to be asked is whether software should be patented or not.

No matter how doubtful the bill may be, many software developers think that this is a breeze of fresh air for them. The agreement is a sign that both parties believe they need to do something about it. There is nothing relieving than to know the serious case is finally pointing at the right direction.

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