This afternoon the USC IP & Tech clinic filed a public comment on behalf of the Application Developers Alliance (ADA) regarding the proposed information collect on Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs). In the public comment, the Clinic supports the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) initiative to collect this information and encourages the FTC to utilize its statutory authority to ameliorate the harmful information imbalance in the current patent system. From the Comment [pdf]:
PAEs are victimizing countless ADA members through a variety of unfair, deceptive,
anticompetitive, and frustratingly opaque business practices. PAE holdup has become so common that PAEs now represent the principal threat to the continued growth and success of the app economy. But while app developers and many others have repeatedly been the targets of these business practices, which they believe to be widespread, there is no way to expose or examine them on a systemic basis. An FTC investigation, made pursuant to its § 6(b) authority, is the best and perhaps only way to obtain empirical data about PAE activity across the entire patent ecosystem.