Washington, D.C. - Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Vera Ranieri will testify Thursday at a congressional hearing on patent demand letters. Lawmakers will consider what they should do to reform the flawed patent system, which currently allows unscrupulous patent assertion entities, or trolls, to use unfair and deceptive demand letters to extort undeserved settlements from legitimate businesses.

Armed with vague and overbroad patents that never should have issued, patent trolls pressure small businesses to pay unjustifiable licensing fees. Businesses receiving these demand letters often lack the resources to fight back or to coordinate with others faced with similar demands. In her testimony Thursday, Ranieri will urge Congress to enact measures to protect small businesses from abusive and deceptive demand letters, including enacting disclosure requirements that would help both lawmakers and the public to understand the damage patent trolls do to America's economy.

Thursday's testimony is part of EFF's long-running activism against bad patents and abuse of the patent system. Earlier this week, EFF released its “Defend Innovation” whitepaper, explaining two-and-a-half years' worth of research on the challenges facing innovators under the current patent regime, along with concrete suggestions of measures policymakers should take in the coming year.

The patent demand letter hearing is scheduled to be webcast at http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearings.

WHAT: Congressional hearing: "Update: Patent Demand Letter Practices and Solutions" House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade

EFF Staff Attorney Vera Ranieri

Thursday, February 26
10:15 am ET

2322 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC

For more on the hearing:

For the Defend Innovation whitepaper:


Vera Ranieri
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation

Rebecca Jeschke
   Media Relations Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation