The importance of the US Patent Office’s “inter partes review” (IPR) process was highlighted in dramatic fashion yesterday. Patent appeals judges threw out a patent [PDF] that was used to sue more than 80 companies in the fitness, wearables, and health industries.
Trying to succeed as a startup is hard enough. Getting a frivolous patent infringement demand letter in the mail can make it a whole lot harder. The experience of San Francisco-based Motiv is the latest example of how patent trolls impose painful costs on small startups and stifle innovation.
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.
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.