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Bill Targets Patent Trolls

Plastics Business

A bipartisan bill on Dec. 5 passed the House of Representatives that seeks to address the increasing problem of abusive patent litigation, otherwise known as "patent trolling". It is estimated that more than $29 billion per year is wasted on these lawsuits. The bill would increase transparency, discourage frivolous patent litigation and update current US patent laws. The effort to address patent litigation reform now moves to the Senate.

The Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), is compiled from previous bills from both sides of the aisle and is supported by a number of public interest groups. It builds on the reforms that were made last Congress in the America Invents Act. Cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Howard Coble (R-NC), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), George Holding (R-NC), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Tom Marino (R-PA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Betty McCullum (D-MN) and Mike Honda (D-CA).

Other key components of the bill include modernized fee shifting, greater clarity surrounding initial discovery and small business education.

For more information, visit www.govtrack.us.