I was reading Business Week and they had a little commercial section with ads from law firms. A couple of them were intellectual-property specialists and I snarled internally; whatever you think about patent law, as a longtime businessman I’m pretty convinced that the IP law profession, while it contains many good and intelligent people, is collectively a giant leech sucking money and time out of the community of innovators. Having said that, two of the lawyers’ blurbs jumped out at me; both about proposed US legislation which would institute a new process, within the PTO as opposed to the courts, for a quick challenge to the validity of a patent. This is important, because today, defending yourself against patent-infringement litigation is insanely expensive, $1M and up, way up. This is why most companies, in particular small companies, roll over and settle quickly when they get hit with this kind of lawsuit, no matter how dopey the patent is. Here are the two reports: Defending Against Patent Greenmail (which begins Patent “trolls” are currently the subject of much discussion...; most IP specialists don’t like to admit that patent trolls exist, but they do) and New USPTO Post-Grant Patent Opposition Legislation on Horizon. I think the high-tech business community ought to get behind this legislation, big-time. Everyone except the patent trolls.