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Site 'Patent Progress' Focuses on Patent Trolls, Not Software Patents

Government Accountability Office



Summary: Analysis of the stance of a site which purports to be achieving "patent progress"

Following the GAO study which blames software patents we have been watching with interest how patent boosters warped its conclusions. That's only to be expected. Lawyers -- especially patent lawyers -- don't want to see patent scope being limited.



Several months ago I subscribed with caution to the site called Patent Progress -- a site run by "legal" people on the face of it. These are the sorts of people who under the wing of the EFF have been warping somewhat the goal of banning software patents, choosing instead to focus on "bad" patents or patent trolls.

Based on some posts that allude to the GAO study, the people who run Patent Progress want to focus on trolls and not patent scope. This recent post from the Patent Progress blog makes it quite apparent and although the views may depend based on who writes the post, it does seem like prominent (prolific) writers over there continue to obsess over trolls. To quote:

Predatory pricing is the strategy of pricing goods or services below cost in the hopes of driving competitors out of the market and then raising prices to supra-competitive levels. Hovenkamp notes that like predatory pricing, bottom feeder trolls will litigate patent infringement cases even when they are likely to lose in order to generate a reputation for aggressive litigation. In fact, patent trolls have been found to use the same patents over and over again (8 or more times) despite only winning less than 10% of these cases. Once the reputation is established, defendants can no longer rely on patent trolls rationally deciding to drop loser lawsuits and must calculate the costs of litigating a full trial in making the decision to settle. Hovenkamp calls this strategy of short run losses to generate supra-competitive licensing fees predatory patent litigation.


Patent Progress has done some protesting which covers software patents, but the focus of the site seem to align with the sort of reform sought by Google and other large corporations. To them, patent trolls are the problem which merits most emphasis.

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