Within a week, over 5,000 individuals have urged the Senate to pass meaningful patent reform. These individuals represent over 900 inventors, 700 investors, and well over 1300 entrepreneurs who drive the innovation economy—yet are suffering billions of dollars in losses at the hands of patent trolls and rampant litigation.
What is meaningful reform? There must be immediate changes to remove incentives from the patent troll business model: fee shifting to raise trolls' financial stakes, for example; strong end user protections to stop trolls from targeting users of off-the-shelf technologies; transparency provisions preventing bad actors from hiding behind shell companies, striking with misleading demand letters, then stepping back into the shadows.
But reform must go beyond trolls' present tactics; meaningful reform would strike at the root. We must urge the Senate to put an end to destructive patent troll and troll-like behavior by addressing their weapon of choice: overbroad software patents. While fundamental reform may not be in the picture, the Senate has a chance to reintroduce language—for example, expanding the Covered Business Method provision—that would allow individuals and companies to trim down seriously vague patents after they have been issued.
The House recently passed the Innovation Act, which, while quite comprehensive, dropped its patent quality provisions in a last-minute push to gain the favor of older technology companies and their associated Congressional champions. It lies on the Senate to not only quell the current troll-ridden battlefield, but to also start restoring sanity to the patent system as a whole.
Five-thousand people have spoken out in the last week, and the number is still rising. Join us in securing the patent reform we need this year.