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Senate Refusal to Act is a Happy Day for Trolls, Sad Day for Innovators and Consumers
Arlington,  – 05/21/2014 – Arlington, Va., May 21, 2014 – The following statement can be attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, regarding today’s postponement of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act:
            “The removal of comprehensive patent litigation reform legislation from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda makes this a day of celebration for patent trolls. Unfortunately, it’s a sad day for American innovators, businesses and consumers. We are profoundly disappointed the Senate has abdicated its responsibility to address the skyrocketing costs of patent abuse. Over the course of several months, senators reached a balanced and careful compromise that would have discouraged patent abusers, while protecting the rights of legitimate patent holders – only to be undone by pressure from the patent abuse industry.
            “The facts are clear and undisputed. Patent abuse costs the U.S. economy more than $80 billion a year. American businesses face record numbers of extortionate patent threats from firms that don’t produce products or services, but simply sue those who do. Trolls target virtually every sector of the economy – restaurants, retailers, realtors, coffee shops, podcasters, charities and others – and most of the victims are small businesses. Patent abuse costs jobs, harms innovation and hurts our economy. The sole winners are patent trolls and trial lawyers.
               “If the Senate waits until next year to take up patent reform legislation, which seems very likely, patent trolls will have at least another eight months of unfettered extortion of legitimate businesses. That means trolls will be allowed to drain another $54 billion from our economy – money that we won’t be able to invest in job creation or breakthrough technologies.
            “The Senate’s refusal to address this issue is confounding, considering that the House passed patent reform by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote last year, and President Obama indicated he will sign a strong patent reform bill. We urge the Senate not to give up on this issue and address it next year, if not sooner. Meanwhile, patent abusers will run rampant, companies will close and jobs will be lost, costing our economy an estimated $1.5 billion each and every week the Senate fails to act.”
            For a running tally of what patent trolls have cost the U.S. economy since the House passed the Innovation Act in December, click here to view the “Troll Toll.”
            Legitimate businesses are victimized by patent trolls every day in our country. Click here to see how frivolous patent lawsuits are stifling American innovation.
About the Consumer Technology Assocation

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at, and through social media.

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Laura Hubbard

Categories:  Public Policy & Government Affairs, Tech Telecom Policy  — Tags: 

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