The Oregon Senate is currently considering what has been widely touted as a prohibition against “patent trolls.” Generally, a patent troll is a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question. Of course, one person’s patent troll is another person’s valid patent rights holder so it will be interesting to watch this bill (SB 1540 A…full text below) as it proceeds.
Briefly, the bill “[p]rohibits person or person’s affiliate from communicating demand to recipient if in demand person or affiliate alleges, asserts or claims in bad faith that recipient has infringed or contributed to infringing patent or rights that patentee, assignee or licensee has under patent.”
Clearly what constitutes “bad faith” will be important to delineate. The bill is currently before the House Committee on Judiciary. Stay tuned for updates.