The Innovation Act, a bill with measures aimed to stop “patent troll” lawsuits, passed the US House of Representatives this morning on a 325-91 vote. Several amendments that would have stripped out key parts of the bill were defeated.
Passage of the bill is a big step for patent reformers, which would have been hard to imagine even one year ago. However, patent trolls going after “Main Street” businesses like grocery stores and coffee shops have made headlines and enraged politicians from Vermont to California.
Majorities of representatives in both parties supported the bill. On the Republican side, 195 representatives voted in favor of the bill and 27 voted against, while 130 Democrats supported the bill and 64 opposed it. The White House has said it supports the bill.
And it was a very bipartisan vote.
There are some worrying things in the bill – I’m not a fan of loser pays and think it could be used in abusive manners – but something needs to be done to fix the abuse of the patent trolls. It is worse for society.
We know how they are distorting the patent system in ways that harm all of us. They hamper the movement forward because they seek rental fees that slow down development. It helps an undeserving few while it hurts all of us.
The possible abuse by a corporation, – stealing someone’s patented idea and say “Sue me” knowing it has more money – is possible but has always been there. In addition, it seems a lesser abuse for society, as it makes it easier for new ideas to progress society.It hurts a deserving few while helping all of us.