Patent Law

Obama Administration Targets Patent Trolls

Push for more regulations and laws

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President Barack Obama took steps on Tuesday aimed at curbing what the White House called frivolous lawsuits over patent infringement, directing his administration to craft new regulations and urging Congress to pass new laws.

The move—announced ahead of an Obama fundraising trip this week to Silicon Valley in California—comes at a time when U.S. lawmakers and courts also are looking for ways to reduce the number of unwarranted patent lawsuits.

The package of proposed legislation and rule-making takes aim at lawsuits brought by companies, disparagingly called "patent trolls," that do not make or sell anything but merely license existing patents and sue others for infringement.

Such lawsuits have ballooned in recent years, particularly in the technology sector.