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Douglas Gallagher Discusses Recent Supreme Court Rulings and their Effects on Patent Trolls


Following the publication of his blog post and with recent efforts in Congress and state legislatures to address issues regarding patent trolls, firm partner Douglas Gallagher discussed recent Supreme Court rulings that could help end the leaching works of patent trolls in his new column for the Indiana Lawyer.

Patent trolls, also known as patent assertion entities (PAEs), are generally regarded as businesses that do not make products covered by the patent, but instead acquire patents and assert these patents against companies that make or sell products. Gallagher explained that PAEs can generate income by suing large numbers of small businesses with little means to fight expensive patent infringement suits, resulting in the business having to settle the case for smaller amounts.

In his column, Gallagher expressed that patent trolls frequently assert computer-related patents, and one recent ruling was thought to have potential for curbing this PAE activity. Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (U.S. 2014), saw the court unanimously invalidate a patent for the computer-implementation of an abstract idea.

Since the ability to broadly define this unwanted activity and pass a new law without adversely impacting good actors, such as universities, is proving difficult, Gallagher proposed it may be better to wait and see how the recent rulings play out before enacting sweeping reform.

To read “Gallagher: Recent Supreme Court Rulings Could Help End Patent Trolls,” please visit the Indiana Lawyer website.

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