Here's Why Everyone is Supporting Patent Reform (And You Should, Too)
from the call-to-action dept
We’re just shy of the midway point of 2015, but already this year both the U.S. House and Senate have taken huge steps to end legalized extortion in America. This could be the year we finally drive patent trolls back under the bridge.
Last week, a bi-partisan group of senators introduced S. 1137, the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act, to hold these bad actors accountable for their frivolous lawsuits and baseless threats. Patent trolling has become such a problem that this diverse group of Republicans and Democrats — Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, and Sens. John Cornyn, Charles Schumer, Orrin Hatch, Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee — joined together under the umbrella of a fair, common sense patent reform bill.
So far, the legislation has been publically supported by companies across most sectors of the economy, The New York Times editorial board and President Obama. Even comedy host John Oliver joined the fight against patent trolls, dedicating an entire segment to this critical issue.
According to Julie Samuels, executive director and president of the board for Engine Advocacy:
It’s no surprise that patent trolling continues to be a huge problem, and one that disproportionally affects startups, inventors, creators, and the public interest. A very high percentage of startups who have received a demand letter reported ‘significant operational impact’ in the form of deferred hiring, change in strategy, cost ?cutting, reductions in personnel, decreased valuation or total shutdown. This is not how the patent system is supposed to work.
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the PATENT Act, with testimonies from Samuels and Mark Chandler of Cisco Systems, Kevin Rhodes of 3M Company, Diane K. Lettelleir of JCPenny Corporation and Henry Hadad of Bristol-Myers Squibb.
The Senate bill comes on the heels of H.R. 9, The Innovation Act, re-introduced in February by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), which currently has a bi-partisan group of more than 20 co-sponsors. Both pieces of legislation will close legal loopholes used by those who abuse the patent system. The only difference this time around is that the Senate is joining the fight against patent trolls. During the last congress in 2013 the same legislation passed in the House by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, but was not taken up by the Senate.
Remember, politics is a “squeaky wheel” process and policymakers will only club the trolls if they hear from voters like you. Join the Innovation Movement — the Consumer Electronics Association’s grassroots campaign advocating for public policies spurring the innovation and startup economy — in urging Congress to pass these patent litigation reform bills. By filling out the action box below or by texting the word ?trolls? to 52886 you can tell your members of Congress to shut down the patent abuse racket!