AICPA Applauds House Vote on Patent Reform
Published December 05, 2013
Washington, D.C. (December 5, 2013) – The following is a statement by Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), in response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309):
“The AICPA is pleased to see that legislation designed to discourage the activities of patent trolls is gaining traction on Capitol Hill. We applaud today’s House vote and commend House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) for his leadership on the issue. The House vote offers proof that we can put a stop to this dark side of the patent system in a manner that allows plenty of breathing room for American innovation and ingenuity. The Senate, meanwhile, is at work on a comparable measure, led by Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).
AICPA member firms and state CPA societies are among the many small- and medium-sized businesses that have been targeted by Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), which are entities that acquire patents with a goal of finding inventors and companies that the PAEs claim are infringing one or more of their patents.
It is a fact of legal life that many patent trolls prosper because even frivolous suits are cheaper to settle than to contest in court. In response to this growing problem, we favor legislative reforms to the patent system that protect off-the-shelf use by consumers and businesses, reduce costs and hurdles to defend against PAEs, increase transparency about PAEs, and shift costs to PAEs for unsuccessful litigation. These principles are embodied in the House measure and are also under consideration in the Senate.”