SHIELD Act to “Protect against patent trolls” – Would it?

05 Aug

An article recently published extolling the virtues of a proposed Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act. The Act seeks to protect high tech businesses against suits by patent enforcement companies (patent trolls or PECs) by adopting a one-sided “loser pays the costs of the winner, but only if loser is the patent owner” policy.  The author of the article says “As they stand today, our current patent laws do little-to-nothing to protect businesses from egregious lawsuits. A new bill proposed this week might actually make a dent in the saga of tech patent wars.”

So, the party asserting a patent would pay costs of the alleged infringer if the infringer proves the patent invalid, but the infringer does not pay costs of the patent owner if the invalidity defense is frivolous.

So, the proposal would make a patent infringement trial inherently unfair.  It needs an amendment to make it simply “loser pays”.

Bruce Burdick

The Burdick Law Firm, Alton, IL


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