The White House [official website] on Tuesday announced a set of executive actions [press release] aimed at cracking down on abusive patent infringement lawsuits. These steps are aimed at people or firms, often referred to as "patent trolls," who collect patents for the sole purpose of pursuing litigation against those who attempt to use them at a later date. The crackdown seeks to improve the environment [The Hill report] for innovation, which may be hampered when legitimate businesses fear that they may wind up in costly and time-consuming litigation. The executive actions include rules about transparency and an increase in enforcement of rules against patent trolls. The White House also issued seven legislative recommendations on this matter.
Last month the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling that could significantly impact US patent litigation [JURIST report]. The court ruled per curiam that an abstract idea is not patentable simply because it is tied to a computer system. Analysts say the ruling could have severe implications on software and business method patents.