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NRF supports ‘patent troll’ legislation


Washington, D.C. - The National Retail Federation today welcomed bipartisan patent reform legislation introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Patrick J. Leahy, D-VT, that seeks to protect retailers and other businesses from overly litigious patent trolls.

The legislation seeks to balance the rights of inventors and patent holders with heightened protections for businesses who are targeted by “patent trolls,” or firms that buy patents for things they didn’t invent, in order to threaten companies that allegedly infringe on that patent with litigation unless they pay a licensing fee or settlement. The NRF estimates patent trolls cost the economy about $30 billion a year.

The measure was co-sponsored by Senators John Cornyn III, R-Texas; Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.; Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah; Mike S. Lee, R-Utah, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

“Retailers are victimized by patent trolls’ abusive practices more often than any other businesses,” NRF senior VP for government relations David French said in a letter to the sponsors. “Patent trolls divert vital resources from retailers that they could otherwise use to invest and grow their business, further innovation and create jobs.”

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