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White House weighs-in with plans to combat patent assertion entities

05 June 2013

Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation Alert

Citing increasing evidence of the massive economic and social costs of patent assertion entity (PAE) activity, on 4 June 2013 the White House announced several executive orders and legislative proposals aimed at curbing frivolous patent litigation. In addition, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Science & Technology Policy issued a report titled “Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation,” which further describes the problems associated with PAEs. President Obama recently cited the need for further patent reform, and now the Administration is ready to address the “drain on the American economy” that it attributes to PAE activity. The efforts announced yesterday build on various Administration initiatives in this area, including a workshop hosted by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission in December 2012 to assess the competitive impact of PAE activity. Congress has also been active in this area, most recently in the form of a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet in April 2013.

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