SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The House of Representatives was expected to vote next week on a bill dubbed “The Innovation Act”, a bipartisan piece of legislation designed to curtail abusive patent litigation by so-called patent trolls.

Now you’re probably asking what a patent troll is. Basically, it’s someone who owns a patent or seeks to purchase one or even bundles of them for the purpose of stifling innovation. At least that’s the opinion of those who support this bill.

I remember many years ago when the IBM first PC came out, someone had a patent for displaying text on a color screen. I don’t know how you could patent that because people have been doing that long before IBM.

The fact is there are all kinds of patents out there for the tiniest things and that could get in the way of someone who’s trying to create a product. The advocates of this bill want to reform the patent system by not taking away the rights of people that are truly inventive, but also by not allowing people to tie up products with patents that can be irrelevant to the creator’s potential inventions.

As far as the trolls go, it’s not so much that they want to stifle innovation, but they collect money on the patent infringements.

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