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Senators seek to crackdown on patent trolls by making losers pay for frivolous lawsuits

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By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators seeking to curb frivolous patent litigation plan to add a “loser pays” amendment into a bill that many believe has a good chance of becoming law, a leading lawmaker said on Thursday.

The change would require parties that lose lawsuits to cover winners’ legal bills, and is expected to deter prolonged, frivolous and vexatious litigation. Such measures have been pushed by big technology companies such as Google Inc and Apple Inc.

Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a committee meeting on Thursday that he and other senators planned to amend a bill introduced in November to “send a strong signal that patent trolls who pursue lawsuits with no reasonable basis should pay reasonable attorneys fees.”

Companies that buy up large numbers of patents to extract licensing fees or damages for infringement are often called patent trolls or patent assertion entities by critics.

The bill also would require patent holders to disclose ownership and allow manufacturers to step into lawsuits to protect customers accused of using an infringing device.

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Some retailers, coffee shops and other low-tech companies that offer free wi-fi to customers say they have been threatened with lawsuits unless they paid licensing fees for using routers that allegedly infringe certain patents.

“I think we can do this (pass a bill). I do think we need time to do it,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said on Thursday. “I think we are united on the troll. The troll must go.”

She noted that companies of all sizes in California have been hurt by patent fights. But she and some senators also cautioned in a discussion that any legislation should ensure that companies whose legitimate innovations have been stolen can still sue for infringement.

The Senate measure is similar to a measure overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 5.

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The White House supports the legislation.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Ros Krasny and Richard Chang)

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Fox News cuts Trump livefeed after he whines his ‘favorite network’ isn’t treating him ‘great’

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Fox News on Wednesday cut away from a speech being delivered by President Donald Trump shortly after he complained that the network isn't treating him as fairly as it should.

While talking before the Faith & Freedom Coalition, Trump mentioned that he was watching his "favorite network" recently -- and then he went off on a tangent on how this network needed to do a better job of being nice to him.

"[Fox News] doesn’t always treat me so great, by the way," he said. "They could do better. But at least they are fair!"

Shortly afterward, Fox stopped its lived feed of Trump's speech and host Harris Faulkner jumped in to recap other aspects of the president's speech, including "Merry Christmas coming back."

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Trump-loving actor hilariously roasted for complaining that a Canadian team won’t visit the White House

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Kevin Sorbo, a Trump-loving actor best known for playing Hercules in the TV series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," drew instant ridicule this week after he bitterly complained about a Canadian team that wouldn't visit President Donald Trump at the White House.

Earlier this week, Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green said that his team would not accept an invitation to the White House thanks to the behavior of President Donald Trump.

"I try to respect everybody in every field that they do regardless of how crazy things are," Green explained. "But he makes it really hard. He makes it very, very tough to respect how he goes about things and does things. To put it politely, I think it’s a hard no."

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Evangelicals wildly chant ‘4 more years’ after Trump claims mothers are ‘executing’ their infants after birth

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Speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition 2019 Road to Majority Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, President Donald Trump claimed that infants were being "executed" after birth.

"Unfortunately, Democrat politicians have become increasingly hostile to pro-life Americans, who want to help more children find a loving home and share their dreams with the world," Trump told the evangelical crowd.

"Virtually every top Democrat now supports taxpayer-funded abortion right up to the moment of birth. By the way, if you watched Virginia, the governor, after the moment of birth -- that was something that nobody -- that was something that nobody heard of before. After the moment of birth."

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