WASHINGTON, DC — February 27, 2013 —
Legislation introduced today in the House of Representatives creates a much-needed check on unwarranted litigation by so-called “patent-assertion entities” (better known as “patent trolls”), said BSA | The Software Alliance in welcoming the bill’s introduction.
The bipartisan bill written by US Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) would require those who file failing patent infringement claims to cover the legal costs of the winning party.
“This legislation will go a long way toward deterring opportunistic litigation by patent-assertion entities,” said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. “The problem in the marketplace today is we have a mismatch in the incentives to litigate. Innovative technology companies make huge investments in research, product development and general operations. Too many plaintiffs have no such market risks. Their only operating cost is litigating, which imposes disproportional burdens on their targets. The SHIELD Act would recalibrate that equation.”
The Chaffetz-DeFazio bill includes important improvements over versions introduced last Congress. The bill makes exceptions for companies that can demonstrate they are investing in and marketing products based on the patent they are defending, and applies to all patents, not just software patents.