Michelle Lee, director of the Silicon Valley branch of the US Patent and Trademark Office, was one of the speakers at today’s White House patent event.
In June, President Barack Obama called for action against patent trolls. Today the White House held a short conference updating what has happened in the arena of patent policy since then and announced new initiatives going forward—including one to “crowdsource” the review of patents.
“I don’t think we felt like we had a choice but to take action on the issue of patent trolls,” said Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling at today’s event. “What we were seeing wasn’t a trend upward [in patent threats], it was a hockey stick.”
Sperling expressed hope that patents could be a “sweet spot” for bipartisan compromise and that a bill would make it to the president’s desk.
The Innovation Act, which includes fee-shifting and customer protection measures for patent lawsuits, has passed the House and is being debated in the Senate.