While it is still unclear whether Congress will pass legislation intended to address patent trolls, the call for action continues to gain momentum. In a letter addressed to leaders in both the House and the Senate, 50 U.S. businesses urged lawmakers to move forward with legislation intended to regulate the activity of patent assertion entities or so-called patent trolls.
The businesses supportive of the legislation span many different industries. Notable signatories include the American Bankers Association, the Motion Picture Association of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Retail Federation, and the National Association of Realtors.
“The undersigned organizations strongly encourage Congressional efforts to address abuses of the legal system by certain patent assertion entities, commonly referred to as patent trolls. Managing frivolous patent suits unfortunately has become an expensive distraction for a large cross section of American businesses. Instead of focusing on innovation, job creation, and economic growth, we are forced to deal with legal games that have serious consequences,” the letter states.
The businesses further argue that lawsuits filed by patent trolls impact businesses of all sizes. “In 2012, trolls sued more non-tech companies than tech, spanning a wide range of American businesses,” the letter states. “We seek reforms to the current system that would significantly curb trolls’ ability to extort settlement demands from retailers, technology companies, small businesses, financial services institutions, state and local government entities, and many others who are today the targets of their outrageous claims.”