Washington — Senate Judiciary Committee leaders have introduced bipartisan legislation today intended to rein in patent trolls who threaten businesses and consumers with legally questionable infringement claims. One reform could allow prevailing defendants to recover legal fees — if they can prove the plaintiff’s claim was not reasonable. Another would require attorneys sending vague letters threatening litigation to include more detailed information so those receiving the letter can better assess the legitimacy of the demand for money.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been advocating for patent reform for years. We have long stressed the serious damage to innovation resulting from the steadily growing number of trolls and the numerous techniques they have developed to abuse the patent system. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“The abuse of the patent system has been an unfair and unnecessary drain on our economy. Patent trolls have been targeting everyone from restaurants that have websites to customers buying a printer at a store, and we are grateful to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders for offering businesses and consumers tools to disarm those who are clearly abusing the system.
“Companies support this legislation because questionable patent troll claims are costing them millions of dollars, and they understand the bill is carefully tailored so as to not impact their own legitimate patents.
“The patent system was set up to encourage innovation – not hold it back. For too long patent trolls have been able to manipulate our legal system in ways that were never intended. This Senate bill contains some real reforms and we hope proponents can resist the inevitable pressure to water down meaningful improvements. We look forward to working with staff as the language evolves.”