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back to article FTC boss promises probe into patent troll regulation

The Federal Trade Commission will investigate the activities of patent assertion entities (more commonly known as patent trolls), chairwoman Edith Ramirez promised in a speech on Thursday. "Flaws in the patent system," Ramirez said, mean that patent trolls now account for over 60 per cent of patent legal cases, and the situation …

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Anonymous Coward

Wonder no more ..

"El Reg wonders why the FTC is bothering to perform the study in the first place,..."

Because that's how you bury an inconvenient issue that you don't want to deal with. You study it to death. I've got a tenner that says the next time someone asks Congress what they're doing about Patents, they'll whip out the line 'The FTC is investigating .....'

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Re: Wonder no more ..

Really? I would have thought that this was something America would want to reform, as they are keen on big business.

Microsoft/Apple/IBM etc. have all been victims of these trolls, which are generally fly by night failed-abulance-chasing lawyers.

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Re: Wonder no more ..

Microsoft, et al, are the biggest patent trolls of them all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wonder no more ..

@JJ- America in general probably does want some action on this. Congress on the other hand does not. Remember that trolling generally hurts smaller businesses more than big ones. The big ones can take care of themselves.

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Re: I wonder how many lobbyists are paying megabucks to politicians...

Eadon, Whilst I agree with your take on 'how politicians work', I would have thought that the lobbiests from the big American tech companies would outgun the lawyer lobbiests.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jamie Jones - Re: I wonder how many lobbyists are paying megabucks to politicians...

Not quite so! Actually the big tech companies would still like to have patent trolling available for anti-competitive purposes in case they might need it. Google (or Bing if you feel pro-MS) for the words "patent privateers".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Jamie Jones - I wonder how many lobbyists are paying megabucks to politicians...

Right now Microsoft and Nokia are using a patent privateer (Intellectual Ventures) to go after Motorola Mobiliy over things like linking urls in an email.

And that I think says it all about the US patent system

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Re: @Jamie Jones - I wonder how many lobbyists are paying megabucks to politicians...

Hmmmm. Thanks for the replies.

Strangely enough, it seems to be the big tech companies who often find themselves sued. If they are also using similar "patent troll" tactics, then I suppose they get what they deserve....

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Alert

It's all FUBAR

The American patent system, once the standard of the world, has become as useless and corrupted as everything else in America.

Change THAT first and the trolling will solve itself.

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Coat

I wonder...

..if the SHIELD Act will apply to Apple...

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BEST PATENT APPLICATION EVER!

United States Patent Application 20080270152, by a Halliburton Patent Attorney, seeks a Patent for "Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party Against a Second Party"

In other words, it's a patent application to patent the business model of patent trolling.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2008/0270152.html

Sorry for the all caps in the title. (Not really.)

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Holmes

See icon.

"situation needs an investigation to see if competitiveness and innovation are being harmed"

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FAIL

I'm sure the FTC will address patent trolling the same way they currently handle their Do Not Solicit telemarketing regulations i.e. not very well.

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