THE BLOG
10/14/2014 12:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

IRMA President: Illinois' Fight on Patent Trolls Must Move to the Federal Level

Though Illinois has passed laws against patent-trolling shakedowns, the head of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association believes this is a battle only the federal government can fight.

IRMA President Rob Karr writes:

Patent trolling is when a company or individual acquires patent rights for the solitary purpose of legal action and threats against other companies or individuals rather than using them to manufacture or create anything. Often times those targeted by trolls will opt to settle out of court rather than paying hefty legal fees because it is cheaper, even when the infringement claim is frivolous.

Patent trolling costs the U.S. economy $29 billion a year, according to a Boston University study. In the past few years, nearly half of the states have passed laws to combat the practice, but a new threat is arising that states are ill-equipped to fight: patent trolling companies bankrolled by foreign governments.

See the rest of Karr's thoughts on patent-trolling and what can be done to stop it at Reboot Illinois.

Karr's calls on Washington lawmakers to act might have to wait until after the midterm elections. Here in Illinois, statewide elections are also heating up. Though incumbent Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has shown significant leads in polls against Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, the race still has plenty of political intrigue. Members of Topinka's comptroller office staff are also employed part time by a federally funded non-profit, which Simon says is suspicious. Topinka maintains her staff has done nothing wrong. Watch at Reboot Illinois to get filled in on all the details, minus the political spin.

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