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Who Helped Kill Patent Troll Reform In the Senate 157

First time accepted submitter VT-802-Software (3663479) writes "A bipartisan proposal to curb patent trolls was shelved by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday. 'Supporters of the compromise accuse trial lawyers, universities, pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies for foiling the plan at the eleventh hour. As late as Tuesday, the University of Vermont and a biotech coalition each sent letters to Leahy opposing the legislation. "We believe the measures in the legislation go far beyond what is necessary or desirable to combat abusive patent litigation, and would do serious damage to the patent system," reads one of the letters. "Many of the provisions would have the effect of treating every patent holder as a patent troll."'"
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Who Helped Kill Patent Troll Reform In the Senate

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  • Re:Kudos (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @08:34PM (#47071483)

    A big moment for Slashdot.

    Not that big. The summary puts the blame on "lobbyists" when the real blame goes to the Democratic leadership of the Senate. It isn't as if the lobbyists were holding a gun to their head and forcing them to take the contributions. The prime saboteurs were Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) and Harry Reid (D-Nv). If you live in either of those states, you should remember this when you vote.

  • by JWW ( 79176 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @08:36PM (#47071493)

    Stories are circulating that Harry Reid is the one who exerted pressure on Lahey to pull the bill.

    Reid is as corrupt as they come. []

  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:12PM (#47071787)
    Usually what happens is that when the sponsor of a bill finds in the eleventh hour that they have lost enough support to pass the bill, as is the case here, they will shelve it rather than forcing a losing vote. Doing it this way means that other legislators haven't committed to a position on it, leaving the possibility open to bring it back in the future. The article gives a second reason - if the bill is brought to the floor right now it might not get support from Harry Reid, which would go a long way towards sinking it.

    If you're determined to be pedantic about the word "forced" then you're welcome to pick another. The article does not suggest in any way that Leahy wanted to bill to fail.
  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:20PM (#47071807)

    Because if you bring a bill up for a vote when you know it will fail, then that's the end of the line. Nobody is going to change their vote later... that's flip-flopping and it makes you look bad as a politician.

    Whereas if you shelve it, you can bide your time and try to reestablish the necessary votes.

    In any event, one of the major provisions of the bill was to permit the courts to shift fees onto the plaintiff when they bring frivolous claims. This was uncommon before because Federal Circuit case law made it difficult for trial judges to decide to do this.

    However, a recent SCOTUS case overruled the Federal Circuit case law. It's now believed that more district court judges will shift fees. Because of this recent development, lots of politicians who were going to vote for the bill have probably decided that it's not worth sticking their neck out on a vote if the recent SCOTOS decision will being about much of the effect.

    So most likely the idea is to shelve the bill and wait-and-see what the effect the SCOTUS decision will have on litigation. If it doesn't curtail litigation in the next year or two, then I would expect the bill to be resurrected.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:27PM (#47071831)

    He's referencing a crass Canadian show called Trailer Park Boys, specifically an episode called "Jim Lahey is a drunk bastard." Your post was on-topic for the story, but it was kind off-topic for who you replied to.

    Just letting you know why you're modded off-topic.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:15PM (#47072009) Homepage Journal

    Uh. The patent system is ALREADY royally fucked beyond belief.

    This was supposed to be a first step to actually cleaning it up and making it work AS INTENDED.

    Guess we couldn't have that happen. Not enough money in it for people...


  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2014 @05:26AM (#47072903)

    because one of their biggest financial pillars is the trial lawyers (the type of lawyers who sue other people or defend people being sued). If you properly reform the patent system, you reduce the number of cases in the courts that need trial lawyers (on BOTH sides of every fight), you reduce the total number of "billable hours", and thus reduce campaign contributions to the Democrats. Incidentally, as Howard Dean (former DNC chairman) admitted [] this is the same reason why "Obamacare" included NO "tort reform" (reform of malpractice lawsuits) which would have reduced insane medical malpractice insurance rates, reduced unnecessary "defensive medicine" procedures, and would have driven down the costs of healthcare. Obamacare does not attack the costs of healcare so much as it attempts to drive down the cost of insurance to pay for that care, and because there's a big limit on that without tort reform, it tries to shift the money around to subsidize insurance for many people to pretend that it has lowered costs. At this point, somebody opposed to tort reform usually points to states that have done limited tort reform and says "it didn't lower costs THERE!" - but of course state-level reform cannot truly lower the potential payouts for malpractice policies (thereby making premium payments for such policies lower) as long as there are multi-state medical businesses and no national tort reform.

    This is not some partisan trolling; Expecting laws that hit trial lawyers directly in the pocketbook under Democrats is about on par with expecting liberalization of abortion laws under Republicans - in each case you are expecting something that is nearly toxic to an important segment of the base of a party and therefore to that party's ability to raise funds. It's simply a FACT that trial lawyers [] give WAY more money [] to Democrats.

  • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @06:30AM (#47073071)

    Our founders VERY EXPLICITLY did NOT create a Democracy (some of the most-famous like Adams and Franklin cautioned strongly against it). They created a "Constitutional Republic" with "Democratic elections"

    You do realize this is a talking point created by politically illiterate republican party activists who didn't like the fact that americas political system was in the countries name.

    If you have elections, by definition, your a democracy. Thats all the word means.

    If you dont have a monarch you are a republic.

    Examples of Republics: United States , North Korea.
    Not Republics: Australia, Saudia Arabi.

    Examples of Democracys: United States, Australia.
    Not Democracies: North Korea, Saudi Arabia.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @10:04AM (#47073985) Homepage

    > because one of their biggest financial pillars is the trial lawyers

    Only a small minority of lawyers are even allowed to handle these cases.

    So using lawyers in general as some kind of bogeyman here shows an extreme level of ignorance and/or an extreme level of contempt for the electorate.

    Only the "nerd" contingent of the bar is even allowed to apply for the kind of credential that allows one to practice in this area.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman