The Digital Signage Federation has been quietly doing some work for the past year on the whole patent troll issue – quiet, in part, because of how volatile (read litigious) this whole subject can be.
It had been frustrating to watch companies in the digital signage eco-system, and their clients, harassed, slowed and hamstrung at times by legal actions.
It was equally frustrating to watch the organizations in place to represent the industry seemingly sit on their hands. But several months ago I got a briefing to let me know perception was not reality. Stuff was happening.
A very tangible sign of that is news today that the DSF has joined United for Patent Reform as a founding member.
The coalition, initially spearheaded by the National Retail Federation, is comprised of major trade associations and major U.S. corporations, who believe that American business, large and small, are being held hostage by patent trolls.
The full membership list and more information on the coalition is available to view at: http://www.unitedforpatentreform.com/patent-reform
United for Patent Reform supports seven primary issues of patent reform, focused primarily on issues of misleading and predatory patent litigation by patent assertion entities, otherwise known as “patent trolls,” as:
1. Reforming abusive demand letters,
2. Making trolls explain their claims,
3. Protecting innocent customers,
4. Making patent litigation more efficient,
5. Stopping discovery abuses,
6. Making abusive trolls pay,
7. Providing less expensive alternatives
The coalition will provide member companies and organizations tools to help promote understanding and common sense changes in the area of patent litigation. These resources are to include sample letters, white papers, legislation tracking, and aggregated news gathering. The DSF will aggregate and disseminate applicable information to members through an opt-in process. The federation will also inform members on ways to volunteer with the DSF to support this effort.
“Opening up a competitive marketplace that rewards innovation and entrepreneurship is important for both users and suppliers of digital signage services, which is why DSF leadership has authorized membership in this coalition in support of reform in regulation and legislation,” says Brian Gorg, Executive Director of the Digital Signage Federation.
“Patent reform continues to be a topic of immense interest for the members of the DSF,” adds Ken Goldberg, 2015 DSF Chairman. “Abuse of the patent system by various patent assertion entities (sometimes called “trolls”) has led to disruptions in the normal course of activities in our marketplace, hampered innovation and caused a misdirection of capital. Our membership is made up of many small to medium sized businesses which are often the target of these non-practicing entities.”