New Legislation Favors Trolls, Says EFF
June 6, 2019
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s response to a rewrite of Section 101 of the Patent Act now working its way through Congress is summed up in the final paragraph of the Foundation’s most recent article on the legislation: “Let’s not let it happen. Protect basic research and stop patent abusers from tilting the system in their favor. E-mail your representatives in Congress and tell them to oppose the Tillis-Coons patent bill.” The bill as written will abrogate the Supreme Court’s Alice decision, according to the article, and make it inapplicable in any future case. Objections center on the process for determining eligibility in the rewrite, which would be done by “considering the claimed invention as a whole, without discounting or disregarding any claim limitation.” According to the EFF, this is another way of saying the USPTO should ignore the words the claim actually uses to describe the invention. They point out that the claim is the part of a patent that actually defines the “invention” that others are prevented from using. And it is the claim as a whole that’s considered the invention, not any particular element by itself. Trolls and other companies dependent on patent-licensing rather than products are behind the legislation, according to the EFF.
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