WASHINGTON (2/6/15)--As expected, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced a bill combating "unfair and deceptive" patent lawsuits Thursday.
"We thank the chairman for introducing his patent reform bill that passed overwhelmingly last Congress, and we look forward to working with the committee to address the abuse of patent trolls and their use of unfair and deceptive demand letters," said Sam Whitfield, CUNA's deputy chief advocacy officer.
The Innovation Act was first introduced in October 2013 and approved by the U.S. House in December 2013, but since it was not passed by the Senate, it needed to be re-introduced to be considered by the 114th Congress.
CUNA supported the bill when it was first introduced, while urging it to go further in protecting financial firms from litigation on commonly used technologies. A CUNA-supported amendment that would require "patent trolls" to identify their parent entity when making a patent infringement claim was also included in the version passed by the House.
"In recent years, we have seen an exponential increase in the use of weak or poorly granted patents by patent trolls to file numerous patent infringement lawsuits against American businesses with the hope of securing a quick payday," Goodlatte said in a statement. "American businesses small and large are being forced to spend valuable resources on litigation rather than on innovating and growing their businesses."
The re-introduced version of the bill:
The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Zoe Logren (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).