Saturday, July 6, 2013
San Diego (July 6, 2013) – The Seattle Times published an opinion article about patent trolls which was written by USD School of Law alumnus John "Jay" Jurata, Jr., '00 (JD). Jurata is a Washington, D.C.-based partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, specializing in the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property. His technology clients include Microsoft.
The article discusses last week's announcement by the Federal Trade Ccommission (FTC) that it may open a market study into patent-assertion entities (PAEs). Jurata suggests that the FTC’s investigation is an important step in combatting the abusive use of patents. Companies such as Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, Costco, Nordstrum, and even Starbucks have been targeted by patent trolls initiating patent-infringement cases.
Jurata points out that not all companies that purchase patents engage in these abusive tactics, and the solution to the patent-troll problem should be carefully tailored. It must curtail abusive litigation and licensing practices, but not inhibit the secondary patent market by excessive restrictions on other nontroll participants.