Patent trolls are seeking fees from Maine to Idaho. State lawmakers have taken notice.

Kirby Ferguson

The anti-patent-troll bill passed by the US House of Representatives last year appears to have stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) promised that a vote would come shortly after the April recess, but it keeps getting delayed.
The delays are causing real concern among supporters. Yesterday, the Coalition for Patent Fairness sent a letter to Leahy and ranking Republican Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), urging them to forge ahead and keep the bill’s key provisions intact.
The debate over this problem, however, isn’t confined to Washington. The whole reason “patent trolls” became a hot topic on the Hill is because the trolls’ aggressiveness reached an unprecedented level. Instead of just going after settlements from the usual big tech companies, trolls invaded Main Street, seeking license fees from small businesses for simply offering Wi-Fi or using scanners.
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