Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

House Introduces Patent Abuse Legislation

On February 27, Reps. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Jason E. Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced HR 845 Known as the SHEILD Act. This legislation is intended to reduce litigation by “patent trolls” by making them liable for alleged infringers' court costs and attorneys' fees if their patents are found invalid or not infringed.

As technology users, NAR and several of its members recently faced onerous patent infringement litigation over questionable patents dealing with location based search capabilities. These suits were brought by entities that could be considered “patent trolls.” The suit was eventually settled in a multi-million dollar settlement. As a result NAR members know firsthand that “patent trolls” divert significant time and money from their businesses.

NAR sent a letter of support to the bill’s authors and will monitor the legislation as it progresses. At this time, there is no companion Senate bill introduced, making the prospects for passage of this legislation unclear.

NAR Letter to the Cosponsors