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U.S. representatives take on patent trolls with SHIELD Act

A bipartisan bill in Congress aims to bring in a "loser pays" system for software and hardware patent lawsuits, to protect startups from companies that want to force settlements through the threat of high legal bills.

Two U.S. congressmen have introduced a bill that would force so-called patent trolls to pay the legal costs of the people they sue, if the suit is unsuccessful.

The Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act was introduced on Wednesday by Democrat Peter DeFazio and Republican Jason Chaffetz. The congressmen said the move was intended to save tech startups jobs, which are often threatened by such lawsuits.

"Patent trolls don't create new technology and they don't create American jobs," DeFazio said in a statement. "They pad their pockets by buying patents on products they didn't create and then suing the innovators who did the hard work and created the product. These egregious lawsuits hurt American innovation and small technology startups, and they cost jobs. My legislation would force patent trolls to take financial responsibility for their frivolous lawsuits."

Read more of "US congressmen take on patent trolls with SHIELD Act" at ZDNet UK.