Readers Respond: Stopping Patent Trolls

Readers respond to the eWEEK editorial, "Stopping 'Patent Trolls.'"

Have you ever filed for a patent? I would think not. If you had, I dont think you would believe there is the "excessive granting of patents" problem you described in your April 10 editorial (Our View, "Stopping Patent Trolls," Page 41).

While I agree with your idea that there ought to be a law, I certainly do not agree with your implication that the practice of acquiring patented intellectual property is somehow wrong if the acquirer "has no intention of deploying or licensing" the technology. How is someone supposed to figure out intent? You cannot hold results up as proof of intent.

The goal of investing in a patent usually starts with the intent of raising more money to convert IP into a technology or application that has marketability. Alas, many companies fail in this step. Its not a trivial task to achieve commercial viability, and it has no bearing on IP ownership or rights.

You also had an opinion on patent reform limiting the awarding of indefensible patents. I think we already have that today in a large part of the world. Bringing this free-form ownership right to the United States certainly would help someone, but not the owners of the IP or the person who spent the hours documenting his or her claims and holding them up for public scrutiny.

I think it would be of value to the industry to have someone research and report on the last 1,000 patent infringement lawsuits. I would like to know how many were settled out of court and who won. How many injunctions have actually been issued? How many were filed by the patent trolls, and how were they identified as patent trolls?

You obviously touched an area of concern for people with IP.

Howard Gunn