Thursday, October 6, 2016

Federal Trade Commission Releases Its Long-Awaited Report on PAEs

Here is a link to the FTC's report on patent assertions entities (PAEs).  As stated in the executive summary (p.2):
The Federal Trade Commission has authority under Section 6(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act to collect confidential business information and conduct industry studies. We used our authority to study PAE acquisition, litigation, and licensing practices because more data on and analysis of the non-public aspects of PAE business models can enhance the quality of the policy dialogue. Furthermore, to better understand how PAE business models compare with other business models that utilize patent licensing, we conducted a more specific study of the wireless chipset sector, in which not only PAEs, but other non-practicing entities (NPEs) and wireless chipset manufacturers (Wireless Manufacturers) assert wireless-technology patents.
I haven't read the whole thing yet--it just came out about an hour and a half ago, I believe--but there appear to be some references to damages and injunctions issues throughout (although they're not the principal focus of the report).  The summary notes, for example, that "early disclosure of damages theories would flag potential legal issues for summary judgment motions and provide more information for settlement discussions," (p.11), while other parts of the report note concerns over treble damages.  You can be sure that lots of people will be reviewing this report over the next few days.

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