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Archive for December 20th, 2012

USPTO Solicits Comments on Small Claims Court for Patent Disputes

Posted On: Dec. 20, 2012   By: Scott A. McKeown
small claims patentBusiness-to-Business Initiative Drives Government Interest

Small technology companies and start-ups face a daunting task in enforcing their intellectual property due to the cost prohibitive nature of patent litigation. In year’s past academics and major bar associations would often brain storm as to how these market participants (as opposed to NPEs) might be able to cost effectively get a fair shake in the U.S. patent system. Back in 1989, an idea was floated that perhaps the government could help out by establishing a small claims court of sorts to allow such small players an opportunity to prove their case.

For example, where relatively small amounts of licensing revenue/damages are at stake, (e.g., 3 million or less)  it is frustrating for small organizations to be faced with a legal bill of equal value to the potential recovery. Although these goals are far from clear in this week’s Federal Register Notice (here), the USPTO  is soliciting commentary on the concept of creating a small claims court that would be voluntary in nature, likely exclude NPEs, and focus on small (a few million or less) business-to-business disputes Read the rest of this entry »