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Innovation Act Fast-Tracked to Fight Patent Trolls

The Innovation Act, first introduced on October 23rd of this year, is being fast tracked for approval. Just two days ago the House Judiciary Committee voted 33-5 to send the bill to the floor for further consideration.

The bill is an important step in fighting off patent trolls, as it includes provisions which would shift the cost of litigation to the winning party and require the claimant to present the exact patents in question and details of how they are being used/ infringed upon.

The act is coupled with a Senate bill that requires patent owners to properly disclose ownership when pursuing litigation, allowing “parent companies” to interfere and defend customers accused of patent violations. Together, the two bills seek to discourage unnecessary lawsuits, particularly those brought on by patent assertion entities.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte, who first introduced the bill hopes that it can build on the reforms already made in the America Invents Act. Goodlatte presented the bill claiming that the threat of litigation from patent trolls affects everybody from independent inventors to large-sized businesses.

“The tens of billions of dollars spent on settlements and litigation expenses associated with abusive patent suits represent truly wasted capital – wasted capital that could have been used to create new jobs, fund RD, and create new innovations and technologies…The bipartisan Innovation Act is designed to eliminate the abuses of our patent system, discourage frivolous patent litigation and keep U.S. patent laws up to date.”

Still, there remains some controversy over the progressing legislation, as some fear the bill may unintentionally hurt entrepreneurs and small business owners. However, details of the bill’s provisions are still a bit unclear. For more information on the bill, click here.