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Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Releases Anti-Patent Troll Bill

The legislative attack on patent trolls continued today, as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced an anti-patent troll bill, the Patent Litigation Integrity Act. This legislation mandates the award of attorney’s fees to a prevailing party in a patent suit, “unless the court finds that the position and conduct of the non-prevailing party or parties were substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust.”

Hatch’s bill also allows a defendant to motion for a judge to require a plaintiff in a patent suit to “post a bond” that will cover legal fees of the defendant should the plaintiff not prevail. There are a number of interests a judge is required to balance in determining if such a bond will be allowed, including: the nature of the party alleging infringement, the business practices of the plaintiff, and the plaintiff’s demonstrated ability to cover the costs of litigation.

A one page summary is available here. This bill comes on the heels of yesterday’s hearing in the House Judiciary Committee regarding Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) comprehensive patent troll bill released last week.

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ANA's Washington, DC office works to protect the ability of all marketers to communicate effectively with consumers.   The scope of legislation, regulations, and court cases impacting the marketing community continues to be extremely broad, extending to issues as diverse as online privacy, prescription drug advertising, restrictions on the tax deductibility of advertising costs and the regulatory powers of the Federal Trade Commission.

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ANA's Washington, DC office plays a leading role in protecting the ability of all marketers to communicate effectively with consumers. At the end of each year, we prepare a Compendium which describes our efforts on the broad range of issues we have faced. 

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