Tech Industry Presses Government to Address Patent Reform

A number of top technology executives representing the Internet Association submitted a letter this week to leaders of the House of Representatives calling for quick passage of the Innovation Act of 2015. CEOs of Etsy, Gilt, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Rackspace, TripAdvisor, Twitter, Yahoo and Yelp are among those urging politicians to pass the patent-reform bill this summer. The letter explains that these execs have “direct experience of the negative consequences of the patent troll business model on our economy.”

news“If enacted, the Innovation Act will enable innovators like us to get back to the business of doing what we do best, namely creating the jobs and services that help run our economy,” the letter states. “A flawed patent system remains one of the biggest threats to our companies, and frivolous patent lawsuits are at all-time highs.”

While the industry trade group calls the Innovation Act a “reasonable compromise between protecting patent holders’ rights and removing the threat of frivolous patent troll litigation,” biotech and pharmaceutical lobbyists are believed to be holding back the bill.

“They are fighting to include a provision that would exempt some FDA-approved drug patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trail-like reviews, which were set up as a fast and low-cost way to challenge the validity of patents,” reports TechCrunch.

Meanwhile, the tech industry continues to seek reform to the patent system. According to the Internet Association’s press release, “in the first quarter of 2015, lawsuits brought by patent trolls rose 42 percent from the end of 2014, costing billions of dollars that could otherwise be put toward further innovation and job creation.”