US International Trade Commission in Washington DC.

Toytoy / Wikipedia

Despite a broad movement pushing for something to be done to curb lawsuits by “patent trolls,” and a strong bipartisan vote in the House, the main patent reform bill died in the Senate last week.
It’s a big disappointment for industries and groups that were working for the anti-troll legislation, which is not likely to come back in 2014. However, two smaller efforts to at least take a shot at solving some part of the patent troll problem are still active.
A bill (PDF) introduced today would attempt to kick patent trolls out of a place where they’re especially disliked: the US International Trade Commission, or the ITC. While it hears far fewer patent cases than federal courts, the ITC has become an increasingly popular patent forum in recent years. The ITC can’t award damages but it can offer an “exclusion order” that’s similar to a product-killing court injunction if an item is made outside the US, which most tech gadgets are.
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