Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

Senate Committee Approves Patent Litigation Bill

On June 4 the Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly approved S. 1137 the PATENT Act by a vote of 16-4. This legislation is a carefully balanced set of patent litigations reforms aimed at curbing abusive patent litigation at the hands of "patent trolls." The legislation is now expected to be brought to the Senate floor sometime in July.

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.

NAR together with our partners in the United for Patent Reform Coalition support this effort, and while we continue to work to improve the legislation, we are pleased with this result. We will continue to work with the Senate to pass a package of reforms that provide REALTORS® relief from abusive litigation.

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

NAR Statement on PATENT Act

NAR Patent Litigation Reform Resources