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EFF to Testify Thursday at Congressional Hearing on Patent Trolls

Lawmakers Must Reform Flawed System that Enables Demand Letter Abuse
PRESS RELEASE
February 25, 2015

EFF to Testify Thursday at Congressional Hearing on Patent Trolls

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

WHO:
EFF Staff Attorney Vera Ranieri

WHEN:
Thursday, February 26
10:15 am ET

WHERE:
2322 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC

For more on the hearing:
http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=hearing/hearing-on-update-patent-demand-letter-practices-and-solutions-subcommittee-on-commerce-manu

For the Defend Innovation whitepaper:
https://www.eff.org/document/defend-innovation-how-fix-our-broken-patent-system

Contacts:

Vera Ranieri
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   vera@eff.org

Rebecca Jeschke
   Media Relations Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   press@eff.org

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