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On paying legal fees in frivolous cases:

I completely agree this would help in many situations. It isn't easy, though, to determine what constitutes as a baseless claim. Are all claims that seem to be just aggressive litigation deserving of costs? Or just ones from "patent trolls"? If so, what defines a "patent troll"? It isn't always easy to tell who deserves to be punished.

On "Use It Or Lose It":

This is not as easy at it seems. Right now, there are many incentives to file for a patent as soon as the invention has been reduced to practice. In fact, if the invention becomes disclosed, the inventor only has a year in order to secure his patent. This results in patents for technologies which are frequently at the prototype stage. This is a good thing - now, the technology has been described in a publication that is publicly accessible.

Imagine if there was a requirement to "use it" after it was patented... In many cases, that would be impossible: just because something is patented, does not mean it is manufacturable. Furthermore, it may not have a use in a commercial product right after it is patented... Although five years later, it could be an integral part of a product.

In short, requiring the invention to immediately "used" may appear to solve problems, but will probably open up a whole new set of problems.




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