Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Stop Abusive Patent Troll Litigation

Legislation to Protect Main Street Businesses and Retailers

WASHINGTON--()--The National Retail Federation today welcomed bipartisan patent reform legislation introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., that seeks to protect retailers and other businesses from overly litigious patent trolls.

“Patent trolls divert vital resources from retailers that they could otherwise use to invest and grow their business, further innovation and create jobs.”

“Retailers are victimized by patent trolls’ abusive practices more often than any other businesses,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said in a letter to the sponsors. “Patent trolls divert vital resources from retailers that they could otherwise use to invest and grow their business, further innovation and create jobs.”

The legislation seeks to balance the rights of inventors and patent holders with heightened protections for businesses, large and small, who are targeted by abusive and deceptive patent trolls. The measure was co-sponsored by Senators John Cornyn III, R-Texas; Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.; Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah; Mike S. Lee, R-Utah, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

“The business community supports comprehensive patent reform legislation that ends the patent trolls’ multibillion-dollar extortion scheme,” French said. “Legislation must force patent trolls out of the shadows and into the light. Robust protections and transparency requirements are necessary for businesses to defend and protect themselves against patent trolls’ deceptive practices.”

Patent trolls are firms that buy patents for things they didn’t invent, in order to threaten companies that allegedly infringe on that patent with costly litigation unless they pay a licensing fee or settlement. Patent trolls cost the economy about $30 billion a year.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com

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National Retail Federation
Stephen E. Schatz, 855-NRF-PRESS
PRESS@NRF.com

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Release Summary

The National Retail Federation welcomed bipartisan patent reform legislation introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck E. Grassley, R-Iowa and Ranking Member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt.

National Retail Federation