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FTC planning to take on patent trolls, hopes to reduce frivolous lawsuits

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Sick of endless patent wars yet? According to the New York Times, so is the Federal Trade Commission. Referencing the usual persons briefed on the matter, the NYT reports that FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez is preparing to propose an inquiry that will put patent-assertion entities -- companies that exist solely to buy and collect royalties on patents -- under federal scrutiny. If approved, patent trolls that catch the FTC's attention will need to detail how they operate and if their legal proceeds pay out to the original patent owner. The chairwoman is expected to explain the proposal in more detail at a patent law workshop later this week. According to the NYT, Ramirez doesn't have any specific company in mind, but aims to investigate companies that might hamper innovation. With any luck, the inquiry will help curb spurious litigation and rampant patent trolling -- something most of us can probably get behind.

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