Washington – President Obama began his State of the Union address calling on Congress to focus on creating new jobs, not new crises. He said the nation that “goes all in on innovation” is the one that will lead the global economy. To promote innovation, he advocated for more basic research, immigration reform this year and passage of a patent reform bill so companies can focus on “innovation, not costly, needless litigation.”

The Computer & Communications Industry Association was pleased to hear the President encourage Congress to pass patent reform and immigration reform this year and say he would be working with members on surveillance reforms as well.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We appreciate President Obama calling for ‘a year of action’ on issues like critical reforms of our surveillance programs, immigration policies and patent litigation abuses.

“We are encouraged by the President’s mention of patent reform in the State of the Union because it reflects the broad recognition that patent trolls are a multi-billion dollar drain on our economy. It’s time for the Senate to take up and complete its passage of meaningful patent reform legislation, like the House did late last year. It’s important that the bill includes fee shifting reforms to ensure access to justice for innocent victims of patent trolls, and includes a meaningful system to get mistakenly issued patents reviewed.

“Amid signs that the House is preparing to take up immigration reform, we commend the President’s focus on its economic growth and deficit reduction benefits. The status quo works against our economic interest every day that reform is delayed, as we essentially sideline ourselves in the competition for global talent. We echo the President’s call to pass immigration reform this year.

“While the President did not offer specifics on surveillance reform, he did recognize that Internet users around the world need to have confidence that the privacy of ordinary citizens is not being violated. Later, in speaking about drones, he noted the need to remain true to our Constitutional ideals. We hope Congress keeps in mind the ideals outlined in our 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments as they work to pass surveillance reform legislation and review renewal of laws that authorize surveillance.”

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