When it comes to patent litigation, the exhaustive list of who’s suing who is tough to keep track of. That may change a bit, though, as two Supreme Court decisions put big roadblocks up for patent trolls. In putting a stop to vague or misleading patent holdings, the Supreme Court sets the stage for various battles to possibly end prematurely.
The rulings both combat those patents which make vague assertions as to what they cover. They also overturn prior patent court rulings, which is another black eye on current patent laws. As many call for patent reform, these rulings serve to make a strong case for that argument, and are the fourth time the Supreme Court has overruled a patent appeals court.
Succinctly, the court ruled that any patent holdings must be clearly identifiable as to their intent before any litigation can be had. Referencing vague utilities like messaging or transfer of information can no longer be used to seek damages. Companies like Google, who have fallen victim to patent trolling entities like Rockstar, will rejoice in this.
The two rulings cover both hardware and software, but don’t address one key issue: patentability. That case has yet to be heard, but is sitting before the Supreme Court. That’s one of the more crucial rulings on patent reform, where the court will visit arguments on just what should and should not be patentable in our modern age.