Ask Congress to Fix Patent Laws & Stop Patent Trolls
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Main Street Patent Coalition, which includes more than a dozen trade associations and companies, calls on Congress to give small businesses a fighting chance against the growing threat of patent trolls. On behalf of restaurants, retailers, hotels, grocers, and small businesses across the country, we ask Congress to pass comprehensive common sense patent reform legislation, including:
- TRANSPARENCY: Eliminate trolls' ability to hide behind multiple shell corporations
- PATENT QUALITY: Disarm trolls by improving patent quality and providing a way to fight bad patents
- DEMAND LETTERS: Make it easier to punish trolls that send fraudulent and abusive shakedown demand letters
- STOP TROLLS: Protect end users from troll lawsuits based on infringements by intermediary manufacturers and producers
- TROLLS PAY: Make trolls pay when they sue companies frivolously and stop runaway litigation costs
The current patent system, intended to protect the rights of inventors and other small businesses, has been corrupted and abused by patent trolls that leverage poor quality patents and the threat of costly litigation to extort money from the very people the laws were intended to protect. The toll patent trolls have levied against innovators, inventors and main street businesses is being felt throughout the American economy. According to a Boston University study, in 2011, 90 percent of companies facing patent suits were small businesses and the cost of patent trolls to the U.S. economy was $29 billion.
"Patent trolls pose a great and growing threat to small, main street businesses of every industry in America, " said Michael Meehan, coalition manager. "What was once an annoying pest to men and women working to build a business is now a full-scale economic virus. Thousands of main street businesses shell out licensing fees in response to vague and deceptive demand letters from patent trolls. Our diverse coalition represents industries united against a common enemy. Small businesses are America's economic engine, but are often the least able to defend themselves against predatory patent trolls. We must give them the tools they need to fight back and put trolls out of business."
The Main Street Patent Coalition members include: National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, The Emob (online retailers), American Hotel and Lodging Association, National Grocers Association, International Franchiser Association, Application Developers Alliance, National Association of Realtors, Retail Industry Leaders Association, National Council of Chain Restaurants, American Association of Advertising Agencies and American Gaming Association.
The Main Street Patent Coalition is a national, non-partisan coalition of organizations dedicated to stopping patent abuse from trolls by encouraging Congress to pass comprehensive, common sense patent reform legislation – now. More at www.mainstreetpatents.org
SOURCE The Main Street Patent Coalition