Press Release

The Coalition for Patent Fairness Asks President Obama to Address Patent Reform in the State of the Union Address

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As President Obama prepares his remarks for the 2014 State of the Union Address on January 28, the Coalition for Patent Fairness asks him to address the need for comprehensive patent reform legislation during the current Congress.

In the past, President Obama and his Administration have voiced support for reforms that would address ongoing abuses of the patent system by patent assertion entities, otherwise known as patent trolls, which currently cost America’s economy roughly $29 billion each year. During an online chat nearly a year ago, President Obama said of patent trolls: “They don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.... What we need to do is pull together additional stakeholders and see if we can build some additional consensus on smarter patent laws.”

In June, the Administration issued executive actions and legislative recommendations that would take steps to advance America’s patent system by helping to mitigate the threat of patent trolls. Then, in December, the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy in support of H.R. 3309, The Innovation Act, which passed the House with a remarkable, heavily bipartisan 325-91 vote.

That vote, as well as the Administration’s actions, have demonstrated that comprehensive patent reform is a legislative priority for 2014 – and, in fact, appears to be the one major economic initiative upon which Congress is in bipartisan agreement. That is why we urge President Obama to encourage the Senate to pass strong, expanded legislation that will make immediate, effective reforms by disincentivizing trolling behavior, adding transparency to the litigation process, and providing productive businesses with the tools they need to defend themselves against aggressive attacks by bad players.

The costs associated with battling patent trolls are diverting resources from job growth, new consumer services, and innovation among dozens of American industries. American businesses need relief from these burdensome attacks, and Congress is poised to provide that relief through needed reform.

We look forward to hearing President Obama encourage Congress to move forward with this essential action in the coming months. Now is the time to make reform a reality.

*****

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.

Contact: Michael Woeste, Michael.woeste@storypartnersdc.com

For more information, visit http://www.patentfairness.org.

Follow us on Twitter at @FairPatents