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Using Courts In The Fight Against Patent Trolls

David Rose, founder of Gust — As Seen in Forbes

The United States is known for its technical prowess, entrepreneurship, and leading innovation, as well as being home to the most startup companies and the greatest amount of investment dollars that help get startups off the ground. According to a recent report on startup funding trends from Gust, in the first half of 2016, the U.S. accounted for 52% of all global funding request applications. However, for a country that fosters a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, there are legal loopholes and weak policies that empower predatory patent trolls and risk stifling the development of the next big startup idea.

One of the major problems is that many startups in the U.S. are software or Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, yet the word “software” does not appear in any statute or legal test. Section 101 of Title 35 of the U.S. Code provides protection for any “process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter”, and names “abstract ideas” among its exceptions. But, as technology progressed, the question arose as to whether “abstract ideas performed by a computer” fell into the categories of either “process” or “machine.”

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