—The Senate Commerce Committee is looking into patent trolls.
issue is of interest to radio broadcasters as several ownership groups are fighting
patent infringement allegations from DigiMedia over digital music
storage and playback technology.
The Subcommittee on
Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance has slated a hearing
for Nov. 7 to examine the impact of demand letters from so-called
“patent assertion entities” on small businesses, consumers and tech
firms. The hearing will consider whether legislation is needed to
provide increased protection for these individuals and groups.
and other experts estimate that some patent trolls can send upward of
hundreds — or even thousands — of letters to small businesses with
threats of litigation for alleged patent infringement and demand for
payment. Many small business pay off, even if they haven’t violated any
patents, to stem the legal expenses.
The Senate Commerce
Committee also gained a new member this week, New Jersey Democrat and
former Newark Mayor Cory Booker, recently elected.