sigh, seriously, the only reason our government would bother doing that is if the trolls didn’t work for them or the corporations who control our government.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
The Federal Trade Commission on Friday called for public comments on a proposed investigation into approximately 25 “patent assertion entities,” — more commonly known as patent trolls — and how they affect innovation and competition.
The FTC news, announced in a press release, comes as state and federal law makers are proposing measures to curtail the controversial practice of patent trolling, which involves shell companies amassing old patents in order to make legal threats against companies that actually produce things. Trolling is an effective business model because targets typically pay the trolls to go away rather than undertake an expensive court fight; the trolls, meanwhile, are not vulnerable to countersuits because they are shell companies that don’t have any assets.
In its release, the FTC explains that its investigation would be able to expand on existing studies into trolling by using its subpoena power to force the trolls to disclose the nature of their corporate and legal practices. This may address a common complaint among troll victims: they don’t know who is suing them, because the trolls’ investors can hide beyond lawyers and shell companies.