Medical manufacturers association applauds "patent troll" bill


The Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA; Washington, D.C.) has submitted a letter in support of the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters (TROL) Act of 2014, which was approved on July 10, 2014, by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade. Chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), the subcommittee approved the draft by a bipartisan vote of 13 to 6.

Patent troll is the pejorative term for organizations that would prefer to be known as patent assertion entities or nonpracticing entities. Not to be confused with legitimate holders of patents that strike licensing agreements or agents that enforce these patents, patent trolls do not manufacture products or supply services related to the patents in question. They exist solely to collect licensing fees, sometimes aggressively, often spuriously.

Patent trolls have been especially active in the tech arena and, more recently, went after podcasters, where they encountered considerable resistance, spearheaded by podcasting heavyweight Adam Carolla. Now, some have set their sights on medtech. In fact, 2013 "will be remembered as the year that patent trolls invaded the medical technology industry," write patent attorneys David J. Dykeman and Michael A. Cohen at
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