WASHINGTON, DC — June 4, 2013 —
BSA | The Software Alliance today welcomed a commitment by the White House Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues to work with Congress on legislation to curb abusive litigation by patent assertion entities (PAEs). BSA specifically commended some Task Force proposals unveiled Tuesday, including ideas to reform procedures at the International Trade Commission and require disclosure of real parties in interest, but cautioned that legislation should not undermine incentives for technology innovation.
“There is widespread agreement on the need to correct asymmetries in the patent system that make litigation an attractive business model for trolls, but it is equally important not to undermine innovators’ ability to protect their inventions,” said BSA Senior Vice President for External Affairs Matt Reid. “We welcome the attention that the White House is bringing to this issue and commend several of the proposals the Task Force unveiled today. For example, it is important to improve transparency, give courts more discretion to shift fees, and limit trolls’ ability to take inappropriate advantage of remedies at the ITC to intimidate defendants. But some of the White House proposals are problematic.”
“The idea of expanding the PTO’s transitional program for covered business method patents is an area of concern for many BSA members,” Reid said. “Singling out computer-enabled inventions as class could inadvertently put at risk innovation for many industries that rely on software, from manufacturing to biotech. The America Invents Act includes business-method provisions that have been in effect for only six months. Rushing to broaden them before we see the results doesn’t make sense.”
“As the Administration and Congress refine legislation to curb troll litigation, we hope they will work in close partnership with innovators,” said Reid. “At the end of the day, the critical test should be how well we are promoting innovation and protecting inventors.”