42 State AGs Tell The Senate They Support Patent Reform

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of 42 state Attorneys General sent a letter to the leadership on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation supporting Congressional efforts to pass patent reform legislation.

The AGs explain the harms of the abuse of the patent system by trolls on our economy and on small businesses, including not just tech startups but also ‘main street’ businesses, like banks, hospitals, restaurants and hotels.  They also explain that they have launched investigations and enforcement actions, including on notorious trolls that hold patents on things like scanners and WiFi, based on their authority to protect businesses from unfair and deceptive acts.  (We’ve covered some of the state AG suits, such as Vermont, Minnesota, and Nebraska suing MPHJ.)

In addition to supporting patent reform (both the pending Senate legislation and the Innovation Act that the House passed), the AGs specifically addressed some concerns and requests regarding state enforcement authority, jurisdiction over bad-faith demand letters, transparency for demand letters, and patent litigation reform.

We are pleased that there continues to be growing support for patent reform, and look forward to the Senate acting.

Ali Sternburg

Ali Sternburg

Ali Sternburg is Senior Policy Counsel at the Computer & Communications Industry Association. After initially joining as a Legal Fellow in June 2011, she focuses on online copyright issues and other areas of intellectual property policy. She also works on DisCo (the Disruptive Competition Project). She received her J.D. in 2012 from American University Washington College of Law, where she was a Student Attorney in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, President of the Intellectual Property Law Society, Senior Symposium Chair and Senior Marketing Manager for the Intellectual Property Brief, and a Dean’s Fellow at the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. She graduated from Harvard College in 2009 where she studied Government and Music, wrote her senior honors thesis on “Theoretical and Legal Views on U.S. Government Involvement in Musical Creativity Online,” and interned at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.