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The Innovation Act (HR 3309) – a bill we support and recently blogged about — is headed to markup by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, November 20. The bill is designed to curtail patent troll lawsuits by making a number of changes to how patents are litigated. It is the single most comprehensive patent reform bill to reach a markup since the America Invents Act was passed in 2011. We commend Chairman Bob Goodlatte for his leadership and hard work to get this bill where it is. It is a big step forward.
Today, the ongoing war against patent trolls and the push for sorely-needed patent law reform took a massive step forward. House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the Innovation Act of 2013, a long-awaited, aggressive piece of legislation that aims to thwart patent trolls and their spurious lawsuits. Chairman Goodlatte and his staff have been working hard on this bill for several months. They sought and received input from literally hundreds of stakeholders, including American businesses, members of Congress, the US Patent Office, prominent patent lawyers, judges, trade associations and educators. This is a well-thought out piece of legislation.
Earlier this year, the House Judiciary Committee launched a “comprehensive review” to examine the role of technology and existing copyright laws in innovation. Their first set of hearings included only representatives from the music, movie and visual arts communities.
The New York Times last Sunday published an article by David Segal, “Has Patent, Will Sue: An Alert To Corporate America,” in which the owner of IPNav is exposed as an unapologetic patent troll.
In a major step in the ongoing war against patent trolls, 50 trade associations, coalitions and public interest groups today sent an open letter to Congress to urge congressional leaders to take action “to address abuses of the legal system by certain patent assertion entities, commonly referred to as patent trolls.” The letter was conceived and organized by the Coalition for Patent Fairness which has been a leading voice in the effort to reform U.S. patent laws.
Our combined efforts helped to prevent approval of unbalanced legislation in SOPA and PIPA. Now we have a chance to work on laws that will aid us in our daily fight against copyright infringement—without harming the Internet.
The bill now before Congress would do more harm than good.  We’re working to get it amended, so it can target online thieves without hurting innocent users of the Internet.
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