Copyright © Françoise HerrmannThe bipartisan SHIELD Act (Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes) is a bill designed to protect start-ups and innovators from lawsuits filed by patent trolls. Proposed by Oregon Democrat Congressman Peter DeFazio, this law would make patent trolls liable for the costs of the defendants’ legal defense fees, when the defendants win.
Companies sued by patent trolls often opt to pay licensing fees because the costs of a trial to defend themselves would force them out of business.This piece of legislation would at least allow the defendants to recoup the costs of a defense trial.
However, there is much opposition to this bill because such a SHIELD law would create precedence for Tort law in general.
Stay tuned to see whether H.R. 6245 ever gets voted by Congress! The terms (and actions) of “Patent trolling” would then be written in as Tort.