Two weeks after an anti-patent-troll bill was introduced in the House, a different bill (PDF) on the same topic has been introduced in the Senate.

The new bill (overview, PDF) has one new thing that reformers wanted but didn’t get in the House bill, which is a provision to allow the Federal Trade Commission to prosecute patent-holders who send out misleading threat letters. Some patent owners have sent out thousands of letters to small businesses in the past few years asking for patent royalties, a pattern that has raised the ire of many in Congress. Such patent owners were denounced as “bottom feeders” in a Senate subcommittee hearing earlier this month.

Anyone sending out letters in connection with patent demands that could “materially mislead” their recipients would be in violation of the FTC’s ban on deceptive trade practices.     

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