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On February 14, 2013, President Obama stated in reference to non-practicing Patent Assertion Entities ("PAEs") (aka "Patent Trolls") "they don't actually produce anything themselves. They're just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else's idea and see if they can extort some money out of them . . . ." See Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation ("Patent Assertion Report"), Executive Office of the President, June 2013, page 2. Of course, when anybody equates the patent system to extortion, it is pretty certain nothing good can come of it. And, earlier today, the White House helped prove that maxim by releasing its Fact Sheet: White House Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues – Legislative Priorities & Executive Actions. This Fact Sheet provided seven different legislative recommendations and five executive actions, which we detail below. In addition, at approximately the same time, the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisors released the Patent Assertion Report, apparently to provide the justification for the President's recommendations and actions. Finally, Gene Sperling reported on the subject in a blog post entitled "Taking on Patent Trolls to Protect American Innovation," found on the White House blog.
The President's release of his Fact Sheet comes at a time when several new bills have already been introduced in Congress. The most recent bill was introduced in the House by Representative Goodlatte on May 23, 2013 as a discussion draft, and is the most comprehensive of the group.
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