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CEA’s Shapiro Asks Senate For Strong Patent Reform

Arlington, Va. — Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), issued a statement regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013, asking the Senate to move quickly with strong legislation.

Shapiro said in his statement, “We are encouraged that the Senate Judiciary Committee is now moving forward on patent reform, but remind committee members there is no time to waste. In 2011, patent trolls extorted roughly $30 billion from American businesses at a cost of $80 billion to the U.S. economy. By that measurement, the committee’s most recent, one-week delay in addressing the need for strong patent reform cost our economy more than $1.5 billion.”

He noted, “The continuing delays cost us all the myriad benefits of breakthrough technologies that have been shelved as innovators are forced to cease research and development due to the threat of burdensome, frivolous lawsuits.”

Shapiro suggested that to fix the problem, “we have to change the economic incentives and penalize patent trolls for their so-called ‘business model.’ That’s why Senate legislation must include fee shifting provisions that put the burden of frivolous lawsuits squarely onto patent trolls, and a bonding provision that prevents the trolls from simply vanishing into thin air when they lose these lawsuits.”

The CEA executive reiterated arguments previously about how patent trolls “are killing innovation, extorting billions of dollars from legitimate businesses and choking our economy. The House has already taken action by overwhelmingly passing the Innovation Act. The president is standing by, ready and eager to sign strong patent reform legislation. Now is the time for the Senate to enact strong, common-sense reform and drive patent trolls back under the bridge.”