High court upholds process for challenging patents

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has upheld the process for challenging invalid patents, making it easier for companies to fight so-called patent trolls.

The justices ruled 6-2 Monday to uphold the legal standard used to invalidate patents by a new appeals board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Congress created the board in 2011 over concerns federal officials were issuing too many patents and fueling the rise of patent trolls — companies that buy up patents and force businesses to pay license fees or face costly litigation.

The high court ruled against Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC, a New Jersey company that had its patent for speedometer displays in cars declared invalid. Cuozzo said the board was using an overly broad legal standard. The Supreme Court disagreed.

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