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 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.
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
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
Report: Microsoft’s Lumia 530 to Hit T-Mobile This Month for $69 Off-contract
October 1, 2014, 9:10 AM
Quick Note: Pebble, Pebble Steel Smartwatches Reduced to $99, $199 Respectively
September 30, 2014, 3:59 PM
Report: Microsoft Lumia 830 Headed to AT&T on November 7
September 30, 2014, 12:51 PM
Update: Samsung Responds to Reports of Screen Gaps on Galaxy Note 4
September 30, 2014, 11:02 AM
Apple to Begin iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Sales in China October 17
September 30, 2014, 9:55 AM
eBay to Spin Off PayPal Business Next Year
September 30, 2014, 7:28 AM
Most Popular Articles
Appalling Negligence: Decade-Old Windows XPe Holes Led to Home Depot Hack
September 8, 2014, 8:58 PM
iBend: Reports Grow of Razor-Thin iPhone 6+ Folding Like Origami in Your Pocket
September 23, 2014, 6:08 PM
New AT&T Mobile Share Value "Double Data" Promotion Lasts Through October
September 28, 2014, 8:32 AM
Update: Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 Update to Make Up for Botched 8.0.1 Release
September 25, 2014, 8:19 PM
TiVo Mega Features 24TB of Storage, Can Record Three Years* Worth of TV Content
September 8, 2014, 8:45 AM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
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
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information