Stop patent trolls. Support the SHIELD Act.
Finally, a bill to deal with the problem of patent trolls.
The SHIELD Act (H.R. 845), introduced into the House by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), is the first bill of its kind to target nasty patent trolls.
Patent trolls are entities that don't create anything themselves, but instead buy up patents and use them offensively. Making broad claims of infringement based on patents of questionable validity is the troll's favorite move. Most defendants choose to settle because patent litigation is risky and expensive—and trolls offer settlement amounts that, although still incredibly burdensome, are far cheaper than a lawsuit. Businesses who are targeted—including cafés running Wi-Fi and podcasters—lose both time and money, and innovation suffers.
The SHIELD Act spears patent trolls' incentives right through the heart: if a patent troll sues someone, they better believe that the defendant actually infringes a valid patent. If not, the troll could be on the hook for the winning party's full litigation costs, which often stretch into the millions of dollars.
This "fee shifting" system would empower innovators to fight back, while discouraging trolls from threatening lawsuits to start.
Help us stop patent trolls from gaming the system. Send a message to your representatives asking them to support this bill.