By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Arlington, Va. – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) backed the U.S. Senate introduction of the Patent Quality Improvement Act of 2013, legislation to stop frivolous patent lawsuits introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-.N.Y.).
In a statement Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA said, “We applaud Senator Schumer for introducing legislation that promises to make it easier for companies to fight back against frivolous lawsuits by so-called Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs or patent trolls).”
Shapiro said, “Patent litigation abuse has reached a crisis level – innovators, businesses of all sizes and even individual end users are being targeted by firms that do not produce anything, but simply exist to bring lawsuits. In effect, trolls have hijacked our patent system – they now account for the majority of patent litigation in the U.S., at the cost of tens of billions of dollars to our economy and to American consumers.”
He continued, “By enabling defendants to seek review of a patent’s validity, the bill creates a quick cost-effective alternative to litigation. Without having to face the immediate potential of millions of dollars in legal fees, companies targeted by trolls will face less pressure to pay money to resolve frivolous lawsuits.”
The Senate bill comes after CEA officials and members went to Congress last month and lobbied for passage of the proposed House legislation on the problem, the SHIELD Act, a bill that would impose reforms to stop “patent trolls.”
Shapiro commented, “In combination with other measures like the SHIELD Act, the Patent Quality Improvement Act will help drive patent trolls back under the bridge and allow our innovation economy to move forward.”
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