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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Patent Troll Legislation

On Monday, November 18th, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), introduced the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013. The bill incorporates a number of provisions seen in earlier draft bills and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s recently introduced Innovation Act, plus further refinements that Chairman Leahy is seeking. Among other requirements, this legislation: increases transparency of patent ownership and financial interests, allows for stays of litigation against end users while suits against manufacturers are pending, widens post-grant review authority of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and instructs the PTO to undertake education and outreach efforts for small businesses targeted by patent trolls. Importantly, this bill specifically labels bad faith demand letters as an unfair and deceptive business practice which may be investigated by the FTC.

ANA is analyzing this legislation as we continue to work with industry partners on this quickly developing area. Additionally, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup of Chairman Goodlatte’s patent troll bill on Wednesday, November 20th at 11:15 AM.

If you have questions, please contact Dan Jaffe (djaffe@ana.net) at 202-296-1883.

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