Press Release

CPF Statement on the Senate Judiciary Committee Markup of Patent Reform Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2014                                               

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following statement can be attributed to Matthew Tanielian, executive director of the Coalition for Patent Fairness.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee has made significant progress on drafting bipartisan, patent reform legislation, but there is still a lot of work to get done before crossing the finish line. We need a strong bill that includes meaningful provisions on fee shifting, discovery requirements, and genuine pleading standards. While we remain hopeful that an agreement can be worked out, our ultimate support for a legislative package hinges on the strength of these combined provisions. It’s imperative that the package take meaningful action toward ending the patent troll business model.

American businesses and consumers deserve better than to be held hostage by threats and shakedowns from patent trolls. We need comprehensive legislation that will attack the problems in our patent system at all angles, to discourage abuse, foster innovation, and guarantee Americans access to technology. Passing strong patent reform legislation will enhance the patent system we support and protect the people we have been fighting for, including retailers, auto manufacturers and dealers, angel investors, venture capitalists, casino owners, newspaper publishers, small print shops, credit unions, non-profit groups, hardware and software manufacturers, Realtors®, and home builders, just to name a few. Ultimately though, it is consumers who will end up paying the tab for the nearly $30 billion a year patent trolls suck out of the productive economy, because all costs eventually get passed down the line.

We support strong litigation reforms that include shifting attorneys’ fees to the losing party in certain cases to discourage abusive patent claims; ensuring a balanced and fair discovery process that addresses excessive discovery costs; and requiring greater specificity in pleading of patent claims and infringing products in patent litigation. No single solution alone can address this wide-ranging problem; each of these initiatives are essential to curbing patent trolls and to providing relief to America’s economy.

We thank Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, Senator Feinstein, Senator Cornyn, Senator Schumer, Senator Hatch, Senator Lee, Senator Klobuchar, and Senator Blumenthal for their strong and effective leadership on this issue and for taking a powerful stand against patent trolls. The fight is not yet over, but today’s announcement is a step in the right direction to bringing a bipartisan bill to the committee in the near future. We support a strong patent system to protect the thousands of patents we hold; we will continue to work with members of the committee to ensure that the final product is meaningful and puts an end to the patent troll business model.”

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The Coalition for Patent Fairness is a diverse group of companies and industry associations dedicated to enhancing U.S. innovation, job creation, and competitiveness in the global market by modernizing and strengthening our nation’s patent system.


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