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Statement on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing Examining Patent Demand Letters

WASHINGTON — The following statement can be attributed to Chris Polychron, president of the National Association of REALTORS®:

“We are pleased to see the House Energy and Commerce Committee considering the important issue of demand letters. Patent trolls send these threatening letters to businesses―sometimes to dozens or even thousands at once―claiming patent infringement. These letters have little or no facts about what alleged infringement has supposedly occurred and often have no information about the patent supposedly being infringed or what the business being threaten with a lawsuit has done to infringe it. The only solution, according the troll, is a quick payment to ‘settle’ the matter.

“Without simple facts, businesses receiving these letters are unable to assess risk or deduce an effective legal strategy. Comprehensive patent reform legislation must require that demand letters include basic information such as the actual identity of who is making the demand, the patent numbers of the allegedly infringed patents, the model numbers or trade names of accused products or services, and the factual basis for the infringement claim. It’s time Congress put an end to the abusive practice of using deceptive demand letters to shakedown businesses.”

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