UK trade association TIGA has called on authorities in the US to change their approach to patent trolls, claiming developers on British shores are being directly impacted by a lack of action on the other side of the Atlantic.
Detailed in a new report titled Trolls, Innovation and Thermonuclear War, TIGA claims patent trolls are a larger problem in the US due to the "unique features of the USA patent litigation system".
The organisation has recommended that the US adopts a 'loser pays' approach similar to the one currently in place in the EU, placing the burden of paying the winner's legal fees on the loser of a 'patent troll' suit.
Pay to play
Such reform would, in TIGA's estimation, place a prohibitive penalty patent claims made without merit.
Interestingly, the body also points to the mounting cost of high-profile patent cases, including the Apple and Google example in which Steve Jobs famously vowed to wage 'thermonuclear war' on the search giant for its Android mobile phone OS.
As such, TIGA's proposed reforms are designed to protect smaller parties from being threatened into a costly legal quagmire by ambitious patent trolls.
Speaking on the issue, TIGA's CEO Dr. Richard Wilson, acknowledge that problems raised by patent trolls in the US and abroad.
"Patent trolls are not common in the UK but when they do strike they can inflict uncertainty, waste time and impose significant costs on high technology businesses, including games developers," he detailed.
Setting an example
Wilson's words were echoed by report co-author Vincent Cheurer, CEO of Sarassin LLP, who feels the reform is necessary to protect companies who do business in the US.
"Lawsuits for accidental patent infringement currently represent a clear and present danger to any company whose software products are distributed in the US," stated Cheurer.
"The UK Government should work with its US partners to encourage the same 'loser pays' approach to litigation costs that we have in the EU. This could go a long way to mitigating the threats UK businesses currently face."