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Stephen Holmes Discusses the Challenges to Manufacturers Posed by Patent Trolls

August 2, 2013

IndustryWeek discusses recent moves in Washington to address the significant challenges posed to industry and innovation due to non-practicing entities, known as “patent trolls,” which file lawsuits challenging patent ownership.

According to Stephen Holmes, litigation partner at Kaye Scholer LLP, "it’s really a form of legal extortion. Patent trolls haven't done anything to justify what they're seeking to protect. Essentially they're looking to force companies to pay up rather than fight the accusations of patent infringement."

“When this kind of pressure is applied to manufacturing start-ups with much shallower pockets, which is increasingly the case, the troll industry has the potential to totally derail the future of manufacturing technology,” Holmes explains, adding that “It is a system screaming for reform.”

"Improving the quality of the patent office and the decisions made there will help everybody," Holmes concludes. "But you don't change the patent office overnight. You have to make sure you don't inhibit legitimate invention in the process. It's a fine line the government will have to walk, and one that will define the future.”

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