Today EFF joins a coalition of 50 organizations to send a letter to Congress urging the legislature to focus on finding—and passing—effective solutions to patent abuse. This letter brings together a strikingly diverse group of companies—including retailers, application developers, and financial services institutions—as well as public interest organizations like Public Knowledge and EFF. Together, we call on Congress to take immediate action to curb destructive patent troll litigation.
With trolls targeting everyone from café’s providing Wi-Fi, to podcasters, to users of standard office equipment, the movement for patent reform now extends well beyond technology companies. As today’s letter explains:
Trolls no longer only sue large tech corporations. Small and medium-sized businesses of all types, including start-ups, are now the most frequent targets. In 2012, trolls sued more non-tech companies than tech, spanning a wide range of American businesses.
These lawsuits cost the U.S. economy $80 billion in 2011, and productive companies made $29 billion in direct payouts. In the hands of patent trolls, patents are a tax on innovation.