Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Patent Trolls' Lobby, IAM, is Concerned That China is Now Treating Patent Trolls as the Criminals They Really Are (Extortion)

Set of handcuffs



Summary: China is restrictive enough to actually crack down on patent trolls, but it fails to realise that these trolls are a symptom of its poorly thought-through patent policy, which even permits patents on algorithms

China belatedly does what the US should have all along done. It treats patent trolls as criminals. Having granted far too many patents (the EPO copies that strategy, unlike the USPTO), there is now a much-expected rise of patent trolls, which are also being compared to "cockroaches" in China. Yesterday IAM wrote this update:

Last weekend’s announcement of criminal extortion charges for a married couple engaged in patent troll activity against pre-IPO companies in China has caused quite a bit of discussion in the IP world. According to prosecutors in Shanghai, the two individuals had engaged in clearly fraudulent acts including fabricating a backdated licence agreement and using it as the basis for a lawsuit. On the other hand, the way investigators described the case suggested that it was also the overall pattern of opportunistic patent assertions that landed the couple in trouble. All the details we’re aware of are available here.


Those sorts of tricks aren't unique to China; the difference is, in a country like the US people get away with it and even lionised posthumously. IAM would try to make it sound like the exception so as to not alarm its stakeholders which are patent trolls as well. Now, if only China realised that the above is a sort of "karma" (they believe in incarnation, don't they?) for patent maximalism...

Suffice to say, patent extremists like Watchtroll still envy China; writing about a hearing which is not about patents, last night Watchtroll published "House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Holds Hearing on China’s Threat to U.S. Innovation Leadership". Are they just counting patents again?

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