May 1, 2014 – NAFCU joined with more than 400 organizations Wednesday to urge Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to stop patent abuse and pass reform legislation that would provide relief from frivolous lawsuits.
“Today, abusive patent litigation is killing small companies, chilling employment and growth of all companies, and stifling the economies of a wide range of industries nationwide,” the groups said in their letter to the committee leaders.
To stop patent abuse, the organizations recommended:
- curbing abusive demand letters and punishing those entities sending them;
- uncloaking trolls that hide behind shell corporations;
- protecting customers and end users from lawsuits based on their use of another company’s products and services; and
- making trolls pay when they file frivolous cases.
The letter was sent by the Main Street Patent Coalition, a national, non-partisan coalition of organizations dedicated to stopping patent abuse from trolls by encouraging Congress to pass reform legislation. Members of the coalition and signers of the letter, along with NAFCU, include the National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, American Bankers Association, Printing Industries of America, American Gaming Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, CUNA, National Association of Realtors and more.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed today’s planned markup of S. 1720, the “Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013.” This bill, introduced by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is meant to increase transparency in the ownership of patents and protect consumers against frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits.
NAFCU has been working in support of patent reform legislation, including House-passed H.R. 3309, the “Innovation Act,” introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and two separate bills from Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Hatch that would help discourage patent trolls from filing frivolous lawsuits.