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Articles

Oregon and Kentucky crack down on “patent trolls”

February 12, 2014

Articles

Oregon and Kentucky crack down on “patent trolls”

February 12, 2014

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Recently, Oregon and Kentucky became the latest states to crack down on “patent troll” activity, seeking to provide relief to small businesses whom legislators believe have been unfairly targeted by patent assertion entities (PAE’s).blog_oregonkentucky4.gif

The Oregon legislation seeks “to protect small businesses from ‘patent trolls’ who extort licensing fees by threatening litigation,” according to state Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem) who, along with state Rep. Jennifer Williamson (D-Portland), introduced Senate Bill 1540.

“I think citizens and small businesses of this state should not have to feel like they’re getting these demand letters for no reason,” Winters stated at a state Senate Judiciary Committee meeting last week, “and then it ends up costing them an unnecessary amount of money.”

The bill would prohibit any person or entity from sending a person or another entity a demand letter that “alleges, asserts or claims in bad faith that the recipient has infringed or contributed to infringing a patent or the rights that a patentee has, or has granted to an assignee or licensee, under the patent.”

Even a single infraction could trigger an investigation by a state prosecutor, depending on factors, which Fish’s Mike Rosen addresses in this blog post.

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