SENATOR HOPING TO RUN OUT THE CLOCK ON NEEDED REFORM …
Last month this website wrote on legislation introduced by S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Columbia) aimed at stopping patent trolls in South Carolina.
As we noted in our story, a patent troll is a company whose sole purpose is targeting businesses with aggressive litigation over … well, patents. Do the patent trolls actually produce anything? Like a product or a service? Of course not. They’re what are referred to in the business as NPE’s – or “non-practicing entities.” They don’t make anything – nor do they have any intention of ever making anything. They exist to extort money from target defendants – threatening them with costly lawsuits (often without evidence of infringement).
Finlay’s bill blocking such companies is a no-brainer. We support it – and it easily cleared the S.C. House and was on the way to breezing through the State Senate. Unfortunately, it has been blocked there by S.C. Sen. Gerald Malloy (D-Lee) – a trial lawyer with a history of self-serving obstructionism.
Malloy has placed a “minority report” on the legislation and is refusing to permit it to move forward – effectively killing the bill for the session.
What is Malloy’s beef with the legislation? It’s not clear … although we have no doubt there’s something in it for him.
We’re not going to bash Malloy’s procedural move … the rules are what they are, and he’s perfectly within his right to do what he’s doing. We certainly wouldn’t bash a pro-free market State Senator for using the same methods to block a tax hike or other bad legislation.
We simply want people to know who’s responsible for doing what at the S.C. State House … and let them make heads or tails of it.