From the "About Time" files comes a new bill that's aimed at protecting companies from one of their biggest fears: patent trolls. Called the "SHIELD Act of 2013" (no, not this SHIELD, but rather "Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes"), this bill would require those accusing of patent infringement to handle the legal fees of the defendants should they lose the court battle.
Inside the bill is the definition of a "non-practicing entity", which could be applied to the accuser if they are A) not the original inventor of the patent and B) have not made any real contribution to make use of it. If a bill like this were to pass, it wouldn't bode well for those trolls who simply stockpile patents in order to use them against companies down the road. If you make no use of the patent yourself, the courts are unlikely to sway in your favor.
I can't help but wish another bill like this was introduced involving domain names. I'd love to not be offered back a domain I lost by accident for 100x its actual worth.
Nonetheless, as this is only a bill that's being introduced, there's no telling whether or not it's actually going to be passed once it reaches the House. At quick glance though, the it seems to be based entirely around common sense, so hopefully it will be. Maybe then we won't have to hear about patent troll battles every other day.
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