FTC Will Require Patent Assertion Entities to Disclose Key Business Information

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Oct 7, 2013 4:41 PM EDT
ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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Patent trolls are not only disruptive, but secretive as well. The FTC plans to find out how they really work.

It’s hardly news that the Obama Administration is no friend of so-called “Patent Assertion Entities,” or PAEs. Not only members of the administration, but the big man himself have spoken publicly against those companies that make a business model out of buying and asserting patents, as compared to those that actually develop new technology, such as universities, which then then seek to license (sometimes referred to as “Non-Practicing Entities,” or NPEs).

Most of what little we know about the business strategies, licensing practices and economics of PAEs has been gleaned from disclosures made in the course of litigation. Now the Federal Trade Commission has decided to gather some first-hand information on exactly how PAEs operate. And, because it is a regulatory agency, it can do so by asking the PAEs themselves to respond, and under oath, to boot.

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