35 Companies Including Apple Wants the EU to Stop Patent Trolls from Gaming the System

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35 companies including Microsoft, BMW, and Apple have written to the European Commission about patent trolls stifling innovation and blackmailing them.

The letter calls out Thierry Breton, the new commissioner for industrial policy and technology, to prevent patent trolls from “gaming the system”.

In a letter to the European Commission, the group of 35 companies and four industry groups warned that patent trolls were stifling innovation.

They called for Thierry Breton, the new commissioner who oversees industrial policy and technology, to draw up tough rules to stop patent hoarders from “gaming the system”.

Patent trolls hoard patents and then use them to blackmail companies into paying them millions of dollars when they infringe on any of the patents. These patent trolls hope to make millions through licensing fees or lawsuits.

The letter asks the EU courts to take a softer approach to patent infringement and not issue a blank ban on products when only a single patent is found to be infringed.

Apple has been frequently targeted by patent trolls and in many cases, the company has been ordered to millions of dollars to them.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2006 had set a higher standard to be met before an injunction would be granted. Since most patent trolls sued the company in the Eastern District of Texas, the company ended up shutting its stores there. This ended up making the EU a favorite among patent trolls which is why these group of companies wants the EU to take a step about this.

[Via Financial Times]