Thursday, September 22, 2005

Injunction reform in or out in HR 2795?

An article in the Augusta Chronicle (republished in Black Enterprise) suggests that injunction reform is in the current bill:

A bill introduced in the House on Wednesday {Sept. 21] would make it harder for patent-holders to get court orders to stop the sale of products that potentially infringe on their patents.

Elsewhere in the article:

The high-tech industry calls them "patent trolls" - people who get patents for products they never plan to make, just so they can sue for infringement if a company does turn out something similar.

That is how critics describe the inventor from Great Falls, Va., whom Internet giant eBay wants to take to the Supreme Court over online selling techniques he patented.

Now Congress, urged on by a coalition of high-tech companies that includes eBay, wants protection against such people.

"I think patent trolls areabusing the system," said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the bill's author.

The first major changes to patent law since 1999 are running into opposition from drug makers, fearful an overhaul could stifle their ability to bring innovative products to the market.

Representatives of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, high-tech groups and others failed in recent meetings to reach agreement on possible changes to patent law.

A judge now can issue an order to protect patent rights.

The new bill would allow orders only if the patent-holder would suffer irreparable harm without one.


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