Senate’s Patent ‘Troll’ Measure Shelved for Now
Posted at 12:51 p.m. on May 21, 2014
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says there’s no consensus on how to proceed in his chamber with comprehensive legislation to curb patent “trolls,” and he puts the blame on “competing companies on both sides of this issue.” From the statement that Democrat Patrick J. Leahy released a few minutes ago:
Unfortunately, there has been no agreement on how to combat the scourge of patent trolls on our economy without burdening the companies and universities who rely on the patent system every day to protect their inventions. We have heard repeated concerns that the House-passed bill went beyond the scope of addressing patent trolls, and would have severe unintended consequences on legitimate patent holders who employ thousands of Americans.
I have said all along that we needed broad bipartisan support to get a bill through the Senate. Regrettably, competing companies on both sides of this issue refused to come to agreement on how to achieve that goal.
Because there is not sufficient support behind any comprehensive deal, I am taking the patent bill off the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda. If the stakeholders are able to reach a more targeted agreement that focuses on the problem of patent trolls, there will be a path for passage this year and I will bring it immediately to the Committee.
We can all agree that patent trolls abuse the current patent system. I hope we are able to return to this issue this year.
The House passed its bill in December. There was some momentum earlier in the spring behind the Senate’s bill, but Leahy was unable to get it to a markup.