Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced bipartisan legislation to address abusive patent litigation practices harming inventors and businesses.
In recent years, patent assertion entities, also known as patent trolls, have exploited the weaknesses of some poor quality patents to profit from the ideas of others, draining the resources of U.S. companies and costing our economy $80 billion in 2011 alone. Since 2005, the number of patent trolls abusing the legal system has quadrupled, largely because they have expanded their practice by targeting a wide range of businesses -- not just technology-based companies.
Key components of the Innovation Act aim to heighten transparency standards in pleadings, starting with the filing of the initial complaint for patent infringement and modernize fee shifting to a more fair method that puts the financial onus on the requesting party.
"This type of litigation is putting start-ups out of business before they can get off the ground -- even established companies are struggling to dispute these extensive and unsubstantiated claims," U.S. Representative Tom Marino (R-PA) said. "The legislation being championed by the Chairman is a crucial step to increasing transparency and deterring abusive discovery requests, and I look forward to working with my Judiciary Committee colleagues on a bill that promotes private sector growth and innovation."