To the delight of Tim Cook – and (we imagine) many others – President Barack Obama has gone on the record to say that he, and his administration, are not going to allow ‘patent trolling’ in the U.S for very much longer.
At an event held back in February, the U.S official was reported as saying that most firms who hold the rights to granted U.S patents “don’t actually produce anything themselves.” Instead, he says, “they’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea to see if they can extort some money out of them.”
In an attempt to rectify the current situation and state of the U.S patenting system, Obama has proposed a productive 5-step plan to return the patenting system back to being a method of ‘patenting an idea,’ rather than a tool for companies to try and extort profit from each other.
Those steps (per 9to5Mac) include:
1. Direct the Patent and Trademark Office to start a rule-making process aimed at requiring patent holders to disclose the owner of a patent.
2. The president will ask Congress to pass legislation that would allow sanctions on litigants who file lawsuits deemed abusive by courts.
3. Obama will direct the patent office to train examiners to scrutinize applications for overly broad patent claims.
4. Rein in the growing use of the International Trade Commission to settle patent disputes.
5. The Obama administration would like Congress to change certain ITC legal standards and ensure that the agency has flexibility in hiring its judges.
While Obama obviously didn’t name any names, the new found stance by the U.S government regarding so called “patent trolls” in America is no doubt going to please Apple CEO, Tim Cook, who has in the last serveral years had to deal with more than enough lawsuits relating to patent “issues,” and who previously went on the record as saying that he “hates” patent litigation.