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Public Statements

Innovation Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Madam Chair, I want to recognize and appreciate the leadership of the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte) for pushing this bill forward. It is very important for our country.

Our patent system is complex, and in our litigious society, it is unfortunate that some bad actors are using that complexity to take advantage of our small businesses. Young, innovative companies are increasingly threatened and targeted by patent troll lawsuits, and the majority of companies targeted by patent trolls have less than $10 million in revenue. They target these small companies because the companies typically don't have the resources to fight back. So small businesses have a choice: Do they settle with a patent troll or do they go out of business and people lose jobs? That is the choice that small businesses and start-ups are forced to make--pay off a patent troll or shut their doors.

The Innovation Act levels the playing field for small businesses and start-ups. It brings transparency to the patent process and helps protect one of our founding constitutional principles: protect property and promote innovation.

These trolls do not create products. They do not create jobs. They create headaches, and at a significant cost to our economy. It was $80 billion in 2011 alone--$80 billion.

It is said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. This bill provides sunlight that effectively sanitizes the shadowy abuse of patent litigation. Madam Chair, the Innovation Act is a good first step in protecting our small businesses and entrepreneurs from this type of abuse. I urge my colleagues to support the bill.


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