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Law Schools Pool Their Clinics to Fight Patent Trolls
Every system has its exploits, just as computers soon developed “viruses” and every manner of digital exploitation and hacking. The latest exploit on the legal field has been patent trolls, persons who claim to have some bogus patent on such things as computer apps; the damage they can do is that fighting them off – hiring a lawyer, going to court – will cost more, ultimately, than “settling” the claim, and so a lot of app developers, who are usually individual men and women programming them, end up just paying the stupid fee.
But where there is an ache, there is a remedy, and Techdirt has reported that a group of law schools have coordinated the App Developers Alliance to create the Law School Patent Troll Defense Network. These will harness the extra resources latent in law school clinics, such as those of Brooklyn Law school, American University, NYU Law, USC, and others, and clear the field from such exploiters and blackmailers, allowing the developers of new technology, who usually aren’t especially rich, the freedom and space to simply create what they are trying to create.
This is a relief, since pro bono lawyers often don’t enter “corporate” disputes, and the sort of technological development is something this country has long celebrated as central to its tradition.