A welcome helping hand from Washington

Right now small businesses facing a barrage of non-practicing entity letter campaigns are looking for help wherever they can get it

Ronald Reagan always got a laugh when he said the last sentence any business owner wanted to hear was: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Sometimes, though, just the opposite is true, and right now small businesses facing a barrage of non-practicing entity (NPE) letter campaigns are looking for help wherever they can get it.

The Obama administration is extending that helping hand. We at RPX were honored to be invited to participate in a White House event on Feb. 20 highlighting the one-year anniversary of the President's “call to action” to fight NPE litigation and patent abuses. There, we heard about the progress of several initiatives designed to increase patent quality and ownership transparency, including new rules from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) designed to enhance ownership information, better technical training and resources for examiners, and more collaboration with academia to disseminate data and research on abusive litigation.

Mallun Yen

Mallun Yen is executive vice president of RPX Corporation. She can be reached at infor@rpxcorp.com.

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