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FTC seeks comments on plan to study patent trolls

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments on a plan to gather information on 25 unnamed patent assertion entities (PAEs)

The FTC hopes to gain a better understanding of how PAEs operate and how they affect innovation and competition. The investigation will be held under Section 6b of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

In a press release, the FTC said the study would “provide a more complete picture of PAE activities” than previous investigations from other sources, because the Commission has unique Congressional authority to collect non-public information such as licensing agreements, patent acquisition information and cost and revenue data.

FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez announced plans to launch the investigation back in July as one of a series of measures by the Obama administration targeting patent trolls. That month, the ITC announced a pilot scheme to speed up the disposal of patent cases and the White House issued seven proposed legislative changes and five executive actions, to be implemented largely through the USPTO.

Comments can be submitted online or by mail to Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex J), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.

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