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Lehi – A group of Utah business and technology leaders gathered recently at IM Flash to meet with Sen. Orrin Hatch to discuss the issues patent trolls pose to companies and to discuss patent reform. The roundtable, hosted by Utah Technology Council and the Main Street Patent Coalition, discussed the benefits and issues associated with the Innovation Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and presented to the U.S. Senate.
Patent trolls, according to the Main Street Patent Coalition, rely on extortion and intimidation to wring licensing fees and settlements out of small businesses that don’t have patent expertise and cannot afford to fight back where the average infringement litigation can cost more than $2 million. Patent troll litigation costs the U.S. economy about $80 billion per year. In 2013, patent trolls filed 18 percent more lawsuits than in 2012.
House bill H.R.3309 or the Innovation Act focuses on fee-shifting. Hatch said it is a step in the right direction, but won’t be enough on its own. For fee shifting to work, there will also need to be an emphasis on bonding, reasonable rules on discovery and heightened changes for pleading, Hatch said.
“The bill is a great start,” said Hatch. “It has really drawn attention to the issue and has been passed to the Senate for consideration."
The roundtable consisted of CEOs and executives from Intel, Micron, IM Flash, Adobe, Overstock, Oracle, DigiCert, Instructure, FatPipe, VPI Engineering, Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, the Utah Restaurant Association, Utah Credit Unions, UtahRealEstate.com, UTC, Workman Nydegger and others.