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States Move to Do-It-Yourself Patent Reform

With patent reform stalled in the U.S. Congress, 27 states—including nine this year—have passed laws to stem the rise of infringement claims of questionable merit. Many of the laws had bipartisan support, and most set standards for courts to follow in determining whether patent holders are acting in good faith when they demand licensing fees from a business or launch litigation against it. The laws also make it easier for a state’s attorney general to pursue actions against knowingly false claims made by so-called patent trolls, which buy the rights to dormant patents and use them for litigation rather than producing any product or service.

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