Patent trolls aren't exactly an uncommon issue in the video game industry. It seems like a new story about legal notices and infringing patents pops up every other month.
Just weeks ago, for example, Treehouse Avatar Technologies claimed
that at least four massively multiplayer online games were infringing on its patents. Meanwhile, Minecraft
's creator Markus Persson has previously donated $250,000
to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to help fight back against software patents.
Now a new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week could potentially help defendants in such patent litigation cases.
Put together by Representatives Darrell Issa and Judy Chu, the "Stopping the Offensive Use of Patents (STOP) Act" [PDF
] would expand on the original 2011 "America Invents Act
," and help defendants to challenge the validity of any patents in question.
Ongoing litigation could potentially be paused under this proposed act, while patents are reviewed.
However, the EFF notes that
chickens should not be counted as-of-yet -- there are already numerous similar bills pending in the House and Senate, although the EFF believes that Congress can make the patent system better in time.