Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

House Committee Approves Patent Reform Bill

On June 11, exactly one week after the Senate Judiciary Committee passed its patent reform bill, the PATENT Act (S. 1137)  the House Judiciary Committee marked up and favorably reported H.R. 9, the Innovation Act. By making important reforms to the nation’s patent litigation system, the Innovation Act would address abusive practices by patent trolls that bully American businesses, including many REALTORS®, with deceptive and often illegitimate claims of patent infringement.

Despite the momentum behind patent reform, it remains uncertain when the full House and Senate will vote on their respective patent reform bills.

REALTORS® across the country have received threatening letters and lawsuits from law firms representing patent holders.  These letters or lawsuits demand licensing fees to use common business tools such as drop down menu’s on website and the scanner function on a copier.  These Patent Trolls buy vague patents and use them to turn everyday business practices into potential lawsuits. We and other small businesses have been the victims of these trolls.

An executive committee member of the United for Patent Reform Coalition, NAR will continue to actively advocate for patent reform and will work closely with Committee members to strengthen the bill as it moves to consideration by the full House.

To learn more about NAR’s patent reform legislative advocay, visit NAR Government Affairs’ Patent Litigation Reform pages.