The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on the introduction of a new patent reform bill by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.:
Patent trolls intentionally abuse the patent and legal systems to extort payments from companies large and small. Trolls purchase arcane patents and then sue susceptible companies to extract hefty payments, whether in the form of licensing agreements or legal settlements.
Patent trolls are increasingly targeting chain restaurants and retailers. Traditional brick-and-mortar merchants and e-commerce companies alike have had to deal with a growing number of patent troll lawsuits over the last few years. Restaurants and retailers are targeted by trolls not just for their use of cutting-edge technology and innovations but for more practical applications as well.
Patent trolls account for close to half of all patent lawsuits in the United States, and their suits cost the economy tens of billions of dollars a year. Lawsuits that hamper technological innovation and adoption, crowd our court system, and ultimately drive up costs for retailers and prices for consumers.
Addressing and combating the rise of patent trolls is a top priority for retailers, and the introduction of this bill shows that it is a growing congressional priority as well. NRF welcomes continued congressional attention to patent troll abuse, and looks forward to working with policymakers to bring the issue under control.
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad.