The need to fix the U.S.’s patent system has been a subject of much deliberation in all three branches of government recently — particularly over the last year with the advancements of new technologies that have thrown the patent system into a tizzy. Patent trolls abound, and the current system allows them to bully smaller companies into paying licensing fees for their intellectual property rather than suffer the legal expenses of fighting for their own IP rights in court. All this legal turmoil in the U.S. over patent laws seems to be coming to a head as the Supreme Court is set to hear the highest number of intellectual property cases this year in the court’s history.
Two cases went before the Court in February that could have an effect on the existence of patent trolls. The cases surrounded the concept of one party covering the other’s legal fees in IP disputes. Current law requires one side to prove that the other’s is objectively baseless — something that often goes unpursued for reasons often a result of further expense.