Washington, DC — October 30, 2013 —
BSA | The Software Alliance today expressed strong support for legislation introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to curb abusive patent litigation by correcting imbalances in the legal system that give patent trolls undue leverage over the legitimate companies they target.
BSA’s support came in a letter welcoming the introduction of the Patent Litigation Integrity Act (S.1612), which would allow courts to shift legal fees to losing parties and, when circumstances warrant, make plaintiffs post bonds at the beginning of infringement suits so they can’t avoid legal expenses that courts determine they should incur.
“We applaud Senator Hatch for getting to the heart of the patent troll problem,” said BSA Director of Government Relations Tim Molino. “Predatory litigants make money by forcing defendants into quick settlements. They are able to do that because they walk into infringement disputes with an inordinate amount of leverage. Working in their favor is the fact that it costs much less to file a predatory suit than it does to defend against a bogus claim. The fee shifting provision in Sen. Hatch’s bill would help correct that imbalance — and the bonding provision would keep fly-by-night plaintiffs from dodging the fee shifting.”
“For more than 200 years, the US patent system has been the most successful in the world at providing incentives to commercialize path-breaking inventions of all sorts. That is why America holds global leadership positions in key areas of science and technology. Any legislation to curb abusive patent litigation also must carefully preserve those incentives for innovation. Senator Hatch’s bill meets that test.”
Click here to download BSA’s letter.