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Hatch Bill Would Help Curb Abusive Patent Litigation by Taking Away Trolls’ Leverage

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.

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BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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