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Proposed Bill to Stop 'Patent Trolls' Supported By Big Tech Companies

May 28, 2008

Charlene Morrow, Chair of Fenwick & West's Patent Litigation Group, was recently quoted in an Investor's Business Daily article entitled "Proposed Bill To Stop 'Patent Trolls' Supported By Big Tech Companies."

A law designed to improve the quality of patents and reduce litigation has made it to the U.S. Senate, eliciting strong opinions on the way.

Many tech executives say the nation's current patent system doesn't support innovation, in large part because of the rise of patent infringement lawsuits.

"Trolls are well-financed businesses that bring patent claims against large companies or well-funded startups for the express purpose of extracting settlements," said Morrow. She has represented companies sued by so-called trolls.

Morrow supports patent reform legislation, which in its current form is Senate Bill 1145, the Patent Reform Act of 2007, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. A similar bill was passed by the House and sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif. The Leahy bill is now in committee.

One reason Morrow supports the proposed reform is a provision that seeks to end forum shopping.

"It eliminates an aspect of the game-playing by requiring patent plaintiffs to sue only in those places where a defendant is doing substantial business," she said.

Read the entire article by Investor's Business Daily reporter Sheila Riley.