ITC Changes Rules to Block Foreign Patent "Trolling" Efforts
June 25, 2013 11:30 AM
comment(s) - last by
Change is unlikely to impact contentious smartphone wars
U.S. International Trade Commission
(ITC) proposed this week a rules change that may rein in patent trolling efforts by foreign firms. Under the new rules companies filing patent complaints will have to prove they have a "significant" presence in the U.S. before any preliminary injunctions (bans) are ordered. Previously, this establishment of a "domestic standard" of enforcement was performed
the case concluded.
The smartphone patent wars have highlighted the
growing use of ITC injunctions to damage competitors
via import bans. That practice stems from the 2006 Supreme Court ruling in
eBay v. MercExchange
[PDF], which made it harder to ban products due to infringement findings in federal court. Companies quickly realized that instead of federal courts, they could simply use the ITC to do their bidding (or banning, in this case). As the majority of commercial goods in the U.S. today are manufactured overseas or use parts that are manufactured overseas, such bans are highly effective in most cases.
The change should have little impact on ITC complaints from the smartphone industry -- for better or worse -- as most OEMs like HTC Corp. (
) or Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
significant domestic presences
. Rather, it should impact smaller firms from overseas who hold U.S. patents, but do not sell products or market in the U.S.
The ITC has become a popular avenue for product bans. [Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]
Critics might view the plan as setting up barriers to free trade and offering favoritism to U.S. corporations over small overseas patent holders.
But many top U.S. tech corporations praised the change. The ITC Working Group -- which includes representatives of Avaya Inc., Broadcom Corp. (
), Cisco Systems Inc. (
), Google Inc. (
), Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
), Intel Corp. (
), and Oracle Corp. (
) -- called the shift significant.
ITC Working Group Executive Director Matt Tanielian
, "Addressing this will require more than administrative fixes, but the pilot program is a step forward that could help limit costly and unnecessary patent cases."
A more serious change could be in the works if Congress (or the ITC itself) considers a rules change proposed by the White House, which would make it as hard to institute an ITC ban as a federal court ban.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
6/26/2013 6:16:17 AM
You made some very good points drycrust.
At first glance, it seems the easy approach would be to move the patent system to WTO, as they should be regulating trade. But they are only as good as the commitment of the participating countries. And if the participating countries gets into a trade war by adding boundaries, WTO can't do much.
Not to mention, the process of patenting will be grinding to halt due to red tape and bureaucracy.
When they were teaching this whole land, labour, capital and entrepreneur in school, our professor used to say, that due to globalization and free movement of three of these components, markets should be constantly correcting the prices as we reach equilibrium through employment across the globe. Its 21st century, and we are still going in circles.
Anyway, this board is not the place for a debate macro economics.
6/26/2013 9:55:47 AM
Perfect, now you must be American or substantially American to hold a US patent. In other words, US patents have no legal basis when held outside of the US.
I await the matching European patents have no legal basis when held by American companies Directive by the EU. Have to stop all the patent trolls so fair is fair!
This entire move is a simple trade barrier to make damn sure foreign companies are incapable of seeking US patent protection. I trust the Republicans are up in arms over this disgraceful regulation of the world free market.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
Samsung Aims to One-Up Apple's "Spaceship" With $300M USD "Green" Campus
February 27, 2013, 7:01 PM
Game Over? Apple's Bid to Kill HTC Nears Fruition as ITC Blocks Imports
May 16, 2012, 11:35 AM
UK Drivers Must Now Give Their Cell Phones to Police After a Crash
July 29, 2014, 4:37 PM
Ford to Switch 3,300 Employees from BlackBerries to Apple iPhones by Year's End
July 29, 2014, 2:08 PM
Quick Note: Hilton Hotels to Use Smartphones as Room Keys, for Check-In/Check-Out
July 29, 2014, 12:53 PM
Verizon Wireless to Receive Exclusive "HTC One (M8) for Windows" Smartphone
July 29, 2014, 9:13 AM
Report: Microsoft's Chinese Offices Raided
July 28, 2014, 9:16 PM
Cell Phone Unlocking Bill Heads to President Obama's Desk
July 28, 2014, 11:58 AM
Most Popular Articles
Kindle Fire Phone Review Roundup -- A Solid "Meh"
July 23, 2014, 2:09 PM
Ford Details ’15 F-150’s 325hp, 2.7L EcoBoost V6; Demonstrates 732-lb Weight Loss
July 22, 2014, 6:55 PM
Windows 9 Will Merge Windows, Windows Phone, Windows RT in 2015
July 23, 2014, 3:33 PM
Comcast Memo: Harassing Customers During Retention Calls Actually IS Our Policy
July 22, 2014, 5:19 PM
Sony's Xperia Z3 Gets Detailed in Leaked Photos
July 25, 2014, 2:30 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information