NPOA updates members on industry efforts to stop patent trolls 

The following article appeared in WhatTheyThink. NPOA believes this is important for all members to be informed on.  As an industry, all major stakeholders are working to stop this and protect all printers. You as an owner need to keep informed about what you can do and how you can fight this. The full article will help you do so. 

A patent troll is a company or person that purchases a patent and then sues another company claiming that the use of one of its products infringes on the purchased patent.

Trolls attempt to enforce patent rights against alleged infringers far beyond the patent's actual value or contribution to the technology or the industry that the patent represents. Patent trolls typically do not manufacture products or provide services based upon the patents in question. They use patents as “legal weapons,” instead of actually creating any new products or coming up with new ideas to improve business, commerce, or society. Trolls are in the business of threatening and creating litigation. 

Further, trolls often buy-up patents cheaply from companies that are looking to monetize patents that have little or no value, or should have not been granted to begin with, because of Prior Art demonstrating that what the patents teach was obvious prior to the time of application for the patent. These patents are subject to an invalidity contention and termination by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) when alleged infringers contest the trolls. They are typically very broad, covering generic or well-known types of applications that should never have been patented to begin with.

In possession of these broad and vague patents, the troll then sends out intimidating letters to those they argue infringe on their patents. It is a scare tactic that preys on innocent companies that are merely providing a service needed by society. These letters threaten legal action unless the alleged infringer agrees to pay a licensing fee, which can often range to the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many who receive infringement letters will choose to pay the licensing-fee out of fear, and because patent litigation is extremely expensive and can involve lengthy and time-consuming court deliberations...

For complete article please read the following link 

http://whattheythink.com/articles/79304-printing-industry-patent-trolls-ctp-hqpi-patent-infringement/

NPOA has author permission to reprint and publish this fully or partially.  It is for the good of the printing and imaging industry, OEMs, and related potentially impacted parties.

Orginal content and article by;

Harvey R. Levenson, Ph. D.

Professor Emeritus

Graphic Communication Dept.

Cal Poly State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0381

Direct: 805/295-6332

Mobile: 805/801-6025

E-mail: hlevenso@calpoly.edu