The House Judiciary’s Intellectual Property subcommittee had a hearing today on abusive patent litigation. All but one witness called for changes to the trade act of 1930. Patent trolls are now using this trade act to block devices and components of American companies.
We saw this earlier this year with the International Trade Commission delaying the launch of Android phones and iPads. Cisco’s VP of litigation told the committee Cisco spent $13 million defending itself against one patent case last year brought by a Canadian company with one employee.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association is encouraged that Congress is paying attention to this issue as we need reforms to curb the huge hit our economy is taking from patent assertion entities (patent trolls). The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“It is encouraging to see that consensus appears to be building that patent trolls have hijacked the tech industry and our economy – and we must do something about it. We appreciate subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte for responding to the growth of patent assertion entities, which are using the ITC to harm American tech companies. As Goodlatte noted the number of cases brought to the ITC by these trolls went from 22 in 2010 to 232 in 2011. This drain on US innovation and the tech sector must be stopped.”