Washington, D.C. – Today a coalition representing many free market, taxpayer, and consumer groups announced their support for the Innovation Act (H.R. 9). This bipartisan bill – introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and a bipartisan group of Members – takes steps to combat the ever increasing problem of abusive patent litigation.  H.R. 9 was recently reported out of the House Judiciary Committee by an overwhelming vote and will be considered by the full House of Representatives in the coming weeks. 

Below are excerpts from the letter sent by R Street Institute, Niskanen Center, Center for Individual Freedom, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Institute for Liberty, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Independent Women’s Forum, American Consumer Institute, Citizen Outreach, and Minnesota Center-Right Coalition.  The full letter can be found here and a list of all supporters of H.R. 9 can be found here.

“The Innovation Act is a carefully crafted and balanced measure that protects the rights of patent holders and inventors during the litigation process while at the same time closing loopholes that allow PAEs to thrive. 

“We firmly believe these reforms are essential to buttress the structure of our patent system against predatory litigation.  In so doing, it would create more clarity and better protections for legitimate intellectual property rights.

“Sadly, it has become clear that the current litigation environment surrounding our patent system has become an immense burden on the very innovators and innovations that the Constitution sought to encourage and protect.  Each year, abusive patent litigation drains tens of billions of dollars from the economy, creating tremendous deadweight losses, as well as a great deal of uncertainty.  This, in turn, dramatically reduces spending on research and development, venture capital investment and other essential business activities.

“H.R. 9 would help reduce the economic harm associated with expensive and frivolous patent troll suits, while improving the overall strength and quality of America’s patent system, in accordance with the founders’ intent.  The bill would bolster a system that promotes the freedom to innovate, rather than lining trial lawyers’ pockets and offering windfall revenues to patent-holders who do not, themselves, add to innovation and economic growth.”