May 16, 2014

Terry releases draft text for anti-patent troll bill

May 19, 2014 – Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., introduced draft legislation that would combat so-called patent "trolls" and abusive litigation, as NAFCU continues to push for patent reform in Congress.

Terry, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, announced he wanted to keep patent trolls from hurting jobs and innovation: "Patent trolls cost American companies tens of billions of dollars each year, and are threatening job creation and innovation. We heard from countless small businesses about the destructive consequences of these scams, and after listening to these concerns, it became clear Congress needs to act to stop this growing abuse."

Last week, NAFCU joined with several other organizations to urge Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to put a stop to patent abuse with legislation that would provide relief from frivolous lawsuits.

"Delay in enacting reforms simply empowers patent trolls and permits even greater harm to Main Street businesses and our economy. The Judiciary Committee must take action now to respond to these clear abuses," the groups said in their letter to the committee leaders.

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. To stop patent abuse, the organizations recommended:

  • eliminating patent trolls' ability to hide behind shell corporations;
  • making it easier to punish trolls that send fraudulent and abusive demand letters;
  • making trolls pay when they file frivolous cases; and
  • disarming trolls by improving patent quality and providing a way to fight bad patents.