Senate Commerce / J. Mullin An anti-patent-troll bill was introduced in Congress two weeks ago and debated at the House Judiciary Committee last week. Yesterday, a Senate committee convened to talk about one of the nastier sides of the patent wars: patent licensing companies that send out thousands of letters asking for payouts from small businesses, often for everyday business behavior like using scanners. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) convened a meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee, bringing four key personalities in patent reform to Capitol Hill.

Her goal was to find out if something could be done to stop the patent threat letters, from a consumer protection standpoint. “The issue here is not about the right to assert one’s patent,” said McCaskill. “It’s not even really about the patent system. It’s about the deceptive and unfair practice of threatening consumers. It’s about scam artists preying on the vulnerable.” 5     

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