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I had recently heard about the SHIELD act that was meant to help curb the lawsuits initiated by patent trolls, particularly those that are highly unlikely to succeed.

I haven't seen any newer posts on it by doing a quick search since August. Was it shot down or is that still going forward? Are there any other pending patent reforms that may help alleviate small startups from those often noxious expenses?

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The SHIELD act legislation was a fee-shifting proposal that would have made it more likely that a patentee who loses its lawsuit would pay the attorney fees the victorious accused infringer. SHIELD Act. The current rule is that each side is responsible for its own attorney fees -- these fees are often more than $1 million for a standard patent case. A court is currently permitted to award fees to the prevailing party, but only in "exceptional cases." The legislation would have lowered that standard to allow fee shifting if "the party alleging the infringement of the patent did not have a reasonable likelihood of succeeding."

There was no serious support for this bill in Congress and it died when the new Congress began in January 2013. It is likely that the bill will be re-introduced in the 113th Congress.

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Thank you - do you know of any other legislation on the table that is meant to help start-ups with prohibitive patent troll fees? –  aed Jan 23 '13 at 22:58
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I thought I'd update this thread by mentioning that the SHIELD Act was re-introduced last week after being expanded to include other industries. That seems to have given it some more support than the previous revision. –  aed Mar 3 '13 at 19:36
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