Supreme Court to look into the legality of the PTAB ‘death squad’ regarding patents

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether to declare unconstitutional a system that technology companies, including Apple and Google have used to invalidate hundreds of patents and head off litigation, reports Bloomberg

Today the justices will consider a challenge to a congressionally-created board that critics consider a “death squad” because of its tendency to toss out patents, the article adds. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has invalidated more than 2,000 patents since it began work in 2012. Apple says it has used the board to successfully attack almost 200 patents, many held by entities interested only in filing lawsuits and extracting royalties. Congress set up the board, known as PTAB, in 2011 as a faster and cheaper alternative to litigation. However, some smaller inventors see a chance to undercut the board, saying it’s become an anticompetitive tool for large companies, according to Bloomberg.

That may be, but the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks that the Supreme Court should tread carefully in making its decision. One of the benefits of PTAB is that it helps companies (including Apple) to fight “patent trolls.”

A patent troll is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.