PublishedJune 5, 2013

Business and Consumer Groups Come Out in Support of Obama’s Patent Proposals

As it was widely reported yesterday, including here on Patent Progress, President Obama came out with a three pronged plan for stamping down on patent trolls.  Part one was a study outlining their harmful impact on the economy, part two was a series of executive actions and part three was a set of seven proposals he called on Congress to pass.

Both business and consumer groups have come out in strong support of the proposals, joining CCIA in praising the President.  After the jump are a series of statements issued by just some of these groups — American Bankers Association, American Hotel & Lodging AssociationApplication Developers AllianceCoalition for Patent FairnessConsumer Electronics AssociationElectronic Frontier FoundationEngine AdvocacyFood Marketing Institutei2CoalitionNational Restaurant AssociationNational Retail FederationPublic Knowledge:

American Bankers Association

The risk of abusive patent litigation and disingenuous license fee demands by non-practicing entities or ‘patent trolls’ is a serious and growing problem for banks of all sizes.  We sincerely appreciate the White House’s announcement of a package of executive actions and legislative recommendations designed to protect against frivolous litigation and ensure high-quality patents.  We are particularly pleased the package included recommendations to address end-user and demand letter issues, which are very important to smaller banks.

We are committed to working with both the Administration and Congress on this issue and hope that legislation addressing abusive patent litigation can be enacted into law as soon as possible.

American Hotel & Lodging Association

Many consumers, businesses, and other end users across the country, especially in the lodging industry, have been unfairly subjected to infringement suits by the holders of patents – so-called ‘patent trolls’ – on equipment and devices used in their day-to-day operations…The legislative recommendations issued today by the Administration, particularly in the areas of off-the-shelf use protections and steps to curb frivolous lawsuits, would provide significant protection to hotels, resorts, and inns across the county.

We thank the White House for their leadership and look forward to working with them and Congress on addressing this critical issue.

Application Developers Alliance

It is time to snuff out patent trolls and end the damage they inflict on our economy and to innovators.  The White House plan shows app  developers and entrepreneurs that they have an ally in the White House in the fight against trolls. Along with several Congressional proposals, this multi-faceted slate of reforms will go a long way to curbing abusive patent litigation.

Coalition for Patent Fairness

The Coalition for Patent Fairness (CPF) applauds President Obama for expressing his support for combating the abusive patent litigation problem in America.

President Obama’s patent reform recommendations highlight a growing consensus for action against patent assertion entities, or patent trolls, which have expanded their burdensome activities against America’s most innovative industries.

Consumer Electronics Association

President Obama’s decisive action today against Patent Assertion Entities (also known as patent trolls), is on the side of innovation and job creation and against the spineless parasites of society who ruin American businesses.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Frustration with patent trolls, and momentum for reform, has been building for some time now. Today, the stakes got even higher when the White House announced that it was actively taking on the troll problem. This is big news, and not just because of the seven legislative proposals the White House recommends (more on those below). Even more important are the five executive actions the President intends to take with or without congressional help.

The news here is good. Not all of these reforms go as far as we’d like, but each takes on dangerous aspects of the patent troll business model.

Engine Advocacy

Today the White House Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues issued a statement with a clear message: it’s time to tackle patent reform…The executive actions make clarity a top priority… The administration’s legislative recommendations also meet key startup needs.

Food Marketing Institute

The grocery industry applauds the Administration’s efforts to increase transparency in the patent system and increase protections for entrepreneurs from PAEs, a.k.a. patent trolls. It is our hope that these measures will serve to reduce the tens of billions of dollars trolls cost our economy every year and free up these resources to be used for  innovation and job creation.

Patent trolls pose an increasing threat to supermarket retailers and we are  heartened that the President is taking major steps to address the enormous burden they are imposing on businesses, and ultimately, consumers.


The White House’s executive order and legislative recommendations, coupled with movement we have seen on this issue in both the Senate and House, would deal the patent trolls a big blow.  These reforms to the patent system would arm innovators with the legal tools to conduct their business without the threat of litigation and bogus lawsuits that steal away time and money they could be spending elsewhere.

National Restaurant Association

Patent trolls are a fast growing concern for the restaurant and food service industry… Our membership has become increasingly aware of and concerned with the frivolous demands and litigation  brought by patent trolls that harm innovation in the industry, and ultimately our customers.

We are pleased to see recognition from the Administration that these  patent trolls don’t actually produce anything themselves; yet, they  create a real strain on Main Street businesses, making it critical that  we find a solution that protects downstream users of patented technologies.

National Retail Federation

 The National Retail Federation welcomed today’s White House announcement on plans to rein in “patent trolls,” saying resources retailers could use to create jobs are being diverted to fight frivolous patent infringement claims. NRF will also join other business groups and a key lawmaker at a Capitol Hill event this afternoon calling for patent reform.

‘Retailers have become one of the largest groups of non-tech companies targeted by patent trolls,’ NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. ‘Retailers are using precious capital resources to fight or settle infringement claims that they should be using to invest in their businesses and create jobs. This is an abuse of our nation’s laws that needs to be stopped.’

‘Patent trolls don’t target just national brands,’ Duncan said. ‘Small and medium-sized retailers are also being threatened and sued, and they are seen as easy prey because they don’t have the legal expertise or money to easily fight back. Congress needs to be sure Main Street businesses that play such a vital role in our local communities are protected.’

Public Knowledge

 As we have seen in recent weeks, abusive patent practices are serious issues that have attracted attention from lawmakers. We are pleased that the administration introduces new reform proposals, and also supports many of the ideas presented in legislation currently proposed by Senators Cornyn and Schumer, and Representatives Goodlatte, Deutsch, DeFazio, and Chaffetz. Additionally, the five executive actions address issues such as patent quality and International Trade Commission enforcement of patents, patent issues which have posed serious problems for American consumers and businesses.

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Josh Lamel

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