Bipartisan Senate Judiciary Leadership Bill Will Protect America’s Businesses From Continued Patent Troll Extortion
WASHINGTON — The process of ridding America’s thousands of employers and millions of consumers of destructive patent trolls took another step forward today with the introduction of bipartisan patent reform legislation, the PATENT Act, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).
“Patent trolls plague businesses large and small from every sector of the American economy,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, and a leader of the United for Patent Reform coalition. “They don’t make anything, or provide valuable services; all they do is extort money from hard-working, productive businesses that do. They kill jobs, increase consumer prices, reduce capital investment, and force businesses out of business. Senators Cornyn and Schumer are to be commended for their hard work driving the process that led to today’s bill.”
Contrary to the assertions by the opponents of patent reform, patent lawsuits not only remain at historic highs, they are also currently increasing: The number of patent lawsuits filed in the first quarter of 2015 were up 30% over the number filed in the fourth quarter of 2014. The percentage of those suits filed by patent trolls was also higher in this quarter than in the last (62% vs. 57%).
“The United for Patent Reform coalition looks forward to working with the Senate to make this the strongest possible patent litigation reform legislation,” Shay said. “The sponsors of this legislation have shown genuine leadership by advancing several real solutions to the costly problems patent trolls inflict on America’s business community. Trolls rob our economy of billions of dollars that would otherwise be invested in jobs, innovation, consumer savings and shareholder value. The legislation introduced today is the next important step in changing that.”
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