Patent Trolls Interfere with American Invention
by Arvid Orbeck Jr
The founder of Energy & Environmental Technologies, LLC, Orbeck Drilling Group, and Elite Steam Technologies, LLC, Arvid Orbeck, Jr. has helped develop several major inventions. Arvid Orbeck, Jr. comes from a long line of inventors, and his grandfather held several patents.
In 2011, Congress passed the America Invents Act, which overhauled the patent system. Despite this legislation, companies are still dealing with so-called “patent trolls,” or companies who purchase copious inexpensive patents and then seek out companies that rely on technologies that are similar to these new patents. The patent trolls then threaten the ventures, which in many cases are small businesses, with infringement law suits. In order to avoid expensive legal fees, many of these businesses settle. Experts have reported that patent trolls made nearly $30 billion in 2011 alone.
Several lawmakers, including Virginia House Representative Bob Goodlatte and Senator Patrick Leahy, have spearheaded a bill that would limit the powers of the patent trolls without interfering with companies’ rights to go to court in other related scenarios. In proposing this new law, legislators hope to promote American innovation by increasing patent certainty and decreasing frivolous litigation.