Since the SHIELD Act was introduced two years ago, momentum has been building for patent reform in Congress. And when the House overwhelmingly passed the Innovation Act in December, it seemed real legislation might be close at hand. Since then, the Senate has been thrashing out its version of a patent bill. We need to keep up the pressure to make sure that any final deal includes meaningful reforms that will slow the flood of patent troll litigation. With the Senate about to break for recess, the next few days could be crucial.
In other legislative news, the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House held a hearing today regarding abusive patent demand letters. Mark Chandler of Cisco talked about the massive scam perpetrated by troll Innovatio IP Ventures, which sent thousands of misleading demand letters to cafes, hotels, and other end-users of Wi-Fi technology. And Professor Jason Schultz of NYU Law School (and EFF special counsel) explained that demand letters should include basic information such as the specific patent numbers and claims asserted, who owns those patents, and the products or services that allegedly infringe.
With patent trolls blanketing the nation with deceptive and misleading letters—many of which we've documented through our Trolling Effects project—Congress should make sure to include demand letter reform in its legislation. Again, please visit fixpatents.org and demand meaningful patent reform.