House Lawmakers Urge FTC to Crack Down on Patent Trolls

Vermont lawsuit seen as a model for potential enforcement action

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Opening up a new front in the war on patent trolls, a group of lawmakers—led by Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.)—urged the Federal Trade Commission to get into the fight. In a letter to FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the 18 lawmakers urged the commission to use its authority to examine whether patent assertion entities are engaging in unfair and deceptive business practices. 

Although the FTC is no stranger to the activities of patent assertion entities (aka patent trolls), holding a workshop late last year, the focus was on the impact of PAEs on innovation and competition, rather than unfair or deceptive business practices that could potentially come under the FTC's statutory authority.



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