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About Our Cause

American businesses of all sizes and from all industry sectors are being held hostage by frivolous lawsuits and overly broad claims made by patent trolls. This must change.

The time is now to take back the patent litigation system and return it to its original purpose: fostering innovation and investment that benefits the entire American economy.

Why Reform is Needed

 A LOOK AT THE HARD NUMBERS.

Who's Affected by the Broken System

This is not just a tech problem. More and more non-tech companies are being harmed by trolls as patented technologies, like software, are the building blocks of modern commerce. Retailers are hit the hardest, followed by automotive industry, financial services, and consumer products. (Patent Freedom)

Our Goals for Reform

Reform abusive demand letters

Require that patent demand letters include truthful, basic information. Patent trolls send vague and deceptive letters alleging patent infringement to demand unjustified payments from innocent individuals and businesses. Vague demand letters should not be used to bully innocent businesses into paying what amounts to protection money.

Make trolls explain their claims

Require patent owners to explain in detail the basis for the alleged infringement when they file a complaint. Current law does not require that a patent holder explain how a patent is infringed, or even identify the product involved, which makes it nearly impossible someone who has been sued to evaluate the case and decide how to proceed.

Protect innocent customers

Ensure that claims between a patent owner and a manufacturer proceed before claims between the patent owner and the customers who use those products. Under current law, anyone can be sued for infringement for simply using a product, system or method. We don’t want to change that. Instead, it simply makes sense for cases against customers to be stayed in favor of cases involving the manufacturer.

Make patent litigation more efficient

Make patent litigation more efficient so that weak cases can be dismissed before expensive discovery. Requiring patentees to explain and judges to decide what a patent means at the beginning of a case—the Markman hearing—narrows the case to the actual legal issues in question, drives early resolutions and avoids unnecessary and expensive discovery.

Stop discovery abuses

Require trolls to pay for the discovery they request beyond core documents so that they cannot run up costs just to force a settlement. Since trolls don’t actually make or create anything, they have few documents to produce and no incentive to be reasonable in their discovery requests. Making trolls responsible for the costs of their discovery requests that go beyond the core documents needed to decide most patent issues will stop unreasonable demands made for negotiation leverage.

Make abusive trolls pay

Require that a losing party who brings a frivolous case pay the other side’s attorney’s fees—and make sure the troll can pay. Trolls currently have few barriers to litigation with no significant costs. A stronger presumptive fee-shifting statute and a mechanism to ensure court ordered fee shifting is enforceable will deter nuisance suits.

Provide less expensive alternatives

Maintain and improve administrative alternatives to litigation. Ensuring access to efficient and fair mechanisms to re-examine questionable patents will reduce litigation abuses and strengthen the patent system.

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