White House Opens New Frontiers in Patent Trolling, Leaves Startups Behind
Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden upheld a controversial limited exclusion order which could ban the sale of Apple’s popular Watch product in the United States after a ruling by the International Trade Commission late last year. The order upholds the enforcement of a patent by AliveCor, a medical device manufacturer, and while the facts in this particular case may not be of interest to individual startups, the process and outcomes should be.
The U.S. government has taken productive steps over the past decade to curtail how these nefarious actors leverage junk patents and other intellectual property, finally stopping them from essentially seeking rents to keep innovators from being able to build the products and services that can drive the global economy. Still, these trolls keep finding new ways to keep their businesses afloat, and with today’s ruling at the ITC, they may have found their latest vehicle for success.
Rather than “sticking up for the little guy”, upholding this order sows more discord and doubt into a system into which founders and entrepreneurs had gone a long way to building consistency, with the next generation of great startups yet to be born being left behind as the result. We hope the courts and Congress will act to reverse this trend quickly and continue on the path towards building the innovative future the American economy needs, now more than ever.