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House of Representatives Passes Anti-Patent Troll ‘Innovation Act’

Patent TrollThe most unproductive Congress in history is on a mini-roll: the House of Representative passed its second piece of tech legislation this week. The Google and White House-backed Innovation Act seeks to punish so-called “patent trolls” that make a living from intellectual property lawsuits. “They don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack someone else’s idea to see if they can extort some money out of them,” said President Barack Obama in a Google+ Hangout earlier this year. There are a few key troll loopholes that the act from Representative Bob Goodlatte seeks to close. Patent trolls can often win money by threatening to sue innovators without much detail or by hiding behind shell corporations. The Innovation Act requires plaintiffs to detail their complaints and who they actually are. For instance, infamous patent troll Intellectual Ventures has 1,000 companies asserting patent rights.

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More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal’s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.