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An Apple iPhone, left, and a Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone. Both patent holders and those whose sales have been blocked are flocking to the ITC.
An Apple iPhone, left, and a Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone. Both patent holders and those whose sales have been blocked are flocking to the ITC.
(© Jo Yong hak / Reuters/REUTERS)

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U.S. trade commission a patent troll’s paradise

The U.S. International Trade Commission is the wrong referee in the high-tech patent wars. It is supposed to stop foreign infringers. But speedy procedures and a fuzzy remit are turning it into a hot spot for suing U.S. firms. This benefits patent trolls – firms that collect rights to inventions but don’t make them – and companies seeking to block rivals in a hurry. The losers may be investors and innovation.