Tech in the City ©2011 Christou Strategic Consulting
By Charlotte Christou, Management Consultant
Brief Introduction: This is a monthly column, talking about technology in the life of a consumer. Enjoy!
Volume 6: A call to action...Patent Trolls
I think everyone would agree that it's very important that an inventor protects their invention. Many inventors utilize patents to protect their inventions. Funny thing about a patent is that if someone is infringing on your patent, then you must defend it. Yup, you must spend money in the court of law. Some say that it takes $500K to even start! Hmmm. So some clever business men decided that they could make a business out of purchasing patents, and taking people to court, with the goal of settling out of court.
Now that business doesn't seem fair, because court is expensive, and maybe the patent doesn't even infringe on your patent. So a group got legislation involved to develop the SHIELD Act. Supported by the CEA Innovation Movement, here is their call to action:
TAKE ACTION: HELP FIGHT PATENT TROLLS - TEXT "TROLLS" TO 52886
Please help stop "patent troll" lawsuits by supporting the Saving High Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act. Text the word "TROLLS" to 52886 to contact your member of Congress.
Innovators face an explosion of lawsuits brought by so-called patent trolls (companies who bring patent claims as a business model instead of creating products). By some estimates, patent trolls now bring the majority of patent lawsuits and cost the economy $80 billion per year - a huge tax on innovation.
Patent trolls know that defending against a bogus lawsuit can cost upwards of a million dollars. Many companies - especially small businesses and startups - do not have the resources to invest in a defense and are forced to settle with the patent troll even if they believe the patent is bogus or their product does not infringe.
The bipartisan SHIELD Act helps fix this problem. Under the SHIELD Act, if a patent troll losses in court, it pays the other side's legal fees - costs that can extend into the millions of dollars. By imposing real and appropriate costs for lawsuit abuse, the SHIELD Act undermines the patent trolls' business model.
ACT NOW and text the word "TROLLS" to 52886 to support the SHIELD Act, and end the "patent troll tax" on American jobs and innovation.
Previous articles and links:
Volume 1: Can I bypass paying for cable by using a media device?
Volume2: What are my options for a telephone?
Volume 3: International CES 2012 by EE Times
Volume 4: Cloud Computing and You
Volume 5: Dish Network Wireless Dual Band Device
What do owners of connected TVs want? Here is one study.