ABA, Groups: Businesses Need Patent Reform

Financial institutions and other businesses need protection from abusive patent trolls, ABA and several trade groups said in a statement for the record for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday. The groups explained that patent infringement litigation against financial firms by non-practicing entities has grown 290 percent from 2009 to 2013.

“Too often, NPEs target small business, especially the small financial institutions that tend to be end users of products and services, with vague and deceptively worded demand letters,” the groups said. “For slightly more than the cost of a stamp and the threat of litigation, NPEs can extract costly settlements from institutions that lack the expertise and resources to fight. Ultimately, these costs are a tax on consumers, stifle innovation, and have the potential to limit product offerings.”

The groups urged senators to pass a patent reform bill that would make permanent a post-patent review process to strengthen patent quality and ensure end users can verify the validity of a patent when faced with a demand letter.