A Renewed Interest By the Supreme Court in the Field of Patent Law: eBay v. MercExchange and KSR v. Teleflex
Two trends in patent law have plagued many companies that create, use and sell technology. The first trend has been the proliferation of so-called "patent trolls" - generally defined as individuals or companies that make and sell no products, and that exist solely for the purpose of generating revenues from patents. The second trend has been the perception, fueled by the media, that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been overwhelmed with a flood of patent applications, and that it does not have adequate staffing to handle the work load. While these problems are not likely to dissipate anytime soon, recent action by the U.S. Supreme Court suggests that some relief may be on the way for companies that face the prospect of a permanent injunction or that attempt to invalidate a patent for obviousness.