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A Look Forward on Patent Reform

As seen on Medium

Our nation’s patent system has been in need of serious reform for many years. So-called “patent trolls” — entities that don’t actually make or sell anything but that instead buy patent licenses merely to extort settlements — have become a serious drain on our economy. According to one study, patent trolls and their frivolous lawsuits cost our country nearly $80 billion per year.

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IPR Successes: Realtors Association Defends Its Members Using IPR

When you buy a house, it’s nice to know where the local schools are, where the closest park is, where a nearby grocery is.  So realtors commonly embed tools on their websites to show you a map of these “points of interest” in the area around a house for sale.

Unsurprisingly, using technology leads to non-practicing entities suing the realtors.  In this case, a pair of Texas-based realtors.

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Past News

Saved by Alice: How a Key Supreme Court Decision Protects Businesses from Bad Patents

As Seen in EFF

In 2014’s Alice v. CLS Bank, the Supreme Court ruled that an abstract idea does not become eligible for a patent simply by being implemented on a generic computer. Since then, Alice has provided a lifeline for real businesses threatened or sued with bogus patents.

This week, on the third anniversary of Alice, EFF is launching a new series called Saved by Alice where we’ll collect these stories of times when Alice came to the rescue. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing stories of business owners large and small.

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The Patent Troll and the Scavenger Hunt

As Seen in EFF

Ken Cooper runs a small business out of his home. Unfortunately Ken’s business was not so small that it avoided the notice of a patent troll.

Ken has been writing code since 1973. His life in programming has ranged from small personal projects to founding a software company that was acquired by Microsoft. Today he runs a company called Coopercode. The company’s main project is a mobile scavenger hunt app for the iPhone and iPad called Klikaklu. Ken created the app to do scavenger hunts with his kids. It ended up being featured by Apple as a ‘New and Notable’ app and became popular with teachers. The app has been used at conferences, college orientations, and institutions like the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art. What began as a hobby project turned into a real business.

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