Patent Trolls, Innovation, and You

Adi Kamdar:

EFF is a digital rights organization, and we're doing a lot of work with patents at the moment

Engine advocacy has a new executive director @juliepsamuels

Daniel Nazer:

I'm the mark Cuban chair to eliminate stupid patents

Jon Zieger:

I'm the chief counsel for stripe

Kate Doerksen:

I run a startup doing visualization

Peter C Pappas:

I used to work for the patent office causing these problems, now I work with engine

Daniel Nazer:

A patent troll typically buys patents and uses lawyers on contingency to extract money from productive companies

The poor quality of patents has thrown fuel on the fire of patent trolling

There is a patent on filming a yoga class, for example

There are about 10000 patents on basic e-commerce and they are lurking everywhere

Findthebest was sued by a troll for $50000, publicized the settlement amount, and won. Cost $300,000

Adi Kamdar:

Startups are between a rock and a hard place - they can't afford litigation fees

Daniel Nazer:

We had a startup sued in East Texas and the preliminary phase will cost $25_50,000

Jon Zieger:

Stripe is a larger startup, we do have attorneys, but we haven't had any claims to date

The government granted monopoly in patents s applied to software does not promote invention or discovery

It takes money from people who do invent and give it to those who file lawsuits

In a world where technology and software is iterating in real time, patents are outmoded

Daniel Nazer:

60% of trolls are software patents. If you Jackie hardware it gets over 80%

Kate Doerksen:

2 or 3 years ago we looked at augmented reality, and ditto had something different

Most augmented reality patents were filed in 2001when they would grant anything

We had a patent asserted against us for "putting one thing on another thing" - compositing

A few weeks later 1 800 contacts decided to sue us and bought a patent to do so

You can't raise vc money if you have patent lawsuits pending against you

So we went to indiegogo and raised money to fight the patents

A bug patent troll told me there was an arbitrage opportunity - he'd fight them for equity in the biz

The deal was sell the company for less than money invested or do the deal with the troll, so I did it

Today the uspto rejected all the claims in their patent, but this is still going on

I think the system is fundamentally flawed, and I hope my story can change things

Adi Kamdar:

There is the troll problem, and the software patent problem of broad vague patents

Do we need to think about the bigger problem of software patents

Peter C Pappas:

Software payers are the poster child for broad ambiguous patents, but buddies

Clearly many of these software and business model patches a should not have been issued they're extortion

The claims are broad and vague and the infringement is not even clear

The patent office doesn't do this in a vacuum, they rely on the courts to and they have been lax on specificity

The patent reform act makes it easier to challenge new patents prospectively, but not existing bad patents

Daniel Nazer:

The innovation act passed the house 325 to 90. It has fee shifting and specificity of claims

Innovation act also lowers discovery cost, and helps end users get out of claims

There is a troll suing cafes and hotels for providing wifi. That's extortion

The Senate had some bills floating around that affect add storing add

There was a provision in the last law enabling overturning patents more easily, but financial only

Peter C Pappas:

We need to expand patent review to get rid of these bad patents that are sold to trolls

The proceedings that the pto have just initiated are revoking lots of patents

The Federal circuit chief judge is calling the pto a killing field of property rights

Kate Doerksen:

We filed a reexamine, our litigation was stayed, we crowd sourced prior art and revoked their claims

Jon Zieger:

Patents are like the weather, bad, benign, indifferent. They are orthogonal to innovation

For most companies, a patent won't cause them to succeed. Some defense against practicing entities

There is a shortage of engineer horsepower. Should they be spending time with lawyers or coding?

Kate Doerksen:

I'm obviously pretty negative on the topic. Before patents issue your really vulnerable even if you file

Maybe I should have raised money faster, but it's really risky

Peter C Pappas:

There are industries where patents provide some value, but patent thickets impede innovation

The patent process is attacked in favor of some claims being issued

There is no advocate for the consumer, just the patent lawyer and the examiner

There is not a common lexicon in software like there is in Pharma

Patient trolls have nothing to lose, it's a shakedown, they don't pay attorneys fees

Daniel Nazer:

There are sins options for patenting ethically, like twitters IPA and defensive patents

If you have a personal story, call your senator. Call Diane Feinstein

There are several cases pending in the Supreme Court, one of which may strike down over abstract patents

Adi Kamdar:

Soon we'll have a site and to help you take action

I want to turn this to you guys to fix patents

Daniel Nazer:

There are provisions to force the underlying company behind the shells to join he sit

Adi Kamdar:

The pto makes money when it grans patents. Does it have a perverse incentive?

Peter C Pappas:

The patent office gets fees for examining and for maintenance fees, the fees may drop off

I don't think there is a financial interest in granting patents, but as Kagan says they're "patent happy'

There is an element of regulatory capture, there is a presumption of validity. The system is stacked

Daniel Nazer:

The pto had only seen a constituency of applicants only, that is slowly changing

If the pto puts out requests for comments, and comments so it is not only IBM and Qualcomm

Wild tangent is an even stupider patent than cls - we wanted a better precedent

The wild Tangent patent is showing an ad before showing the content "on the Internet" it's clearly obvious

Kate Doerksen:

Would we have launched outside us jurisdiction? My team is Russian. We did consider at Petersburg

Kevin Marks:

No engineer looks at the pto for ideas. Pto should search w3c, IETF, and open source first for prior art

Adi Kamdar:

Let's create a process that supports science rather than history