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Everything You Need To Know About Trolls (The Patent Kind)

Publication Date: 
June 26, 2013
Source: 
Wired
Author: 
Colleen Chien

Professor Mark Lemley is mentioned by Wired's Colleen Chien for a "patent fix" he describes in a previous patent series that Chien claims works and should be introduced into the Congressional proposals currently being drafted. 

It's almost as if there's been a call to arms.

There's been a flurry of patent-related activity lately: 5 bills (and counting), 7 legislative recommendations, 5 executive actions, several government studies in the works, and numerous stakeholder hearings.

As the discussions about patents heat up, so does the hype — especially about patent trolls. It's time to reflect on the nuances of the issues at stake. Should we be so focused on patent trolls? Will patent changes geared towards the tech sector adversely affect other industries? Which proposals will work and which ones won't — what should we look for when assessing them?

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For example, the President endorses more stringent examination of functionally claimed patents — those which claim broadly all solutions to a problem rather than the specific way described. This is the patent fix Stanford law professor Mark Lemley described in the patent opinion series here, and I've tested it: It works, and could be strengthened by introducing it into the Congressional proposals.