AICPA Urges Congressional Action on Bills Targeting Patent Trolls

July 23, 2015

US Capitol domeIn July 9 letters to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) expressed support for legislation in each chamber “that we believe will protect our members and countless other individuals and businesses from unwarranted litigation from ‘patent trolls’.”

Signed by AICPA President and CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, the letters urged support for S. 1137, the PATENT Act, in the Senate, and H.R. 9, the Innovation Act, in the House.

Patent trolls, or patent holding companies (PHCs), are a growing problem for CPA firms, state CPA societies and other businesses nationwide.  “Numerous AICPA members have reported receiving letters from licensing entities of a PHC,” Melancon explained.  “These licensing requests accuse our members of misusing patented technology, with most of the accusations vaguely citing technology and software from the early days of the Internet.”

The AICPA strongly supports both measures, which are intended to address the misuse of the patent system and will rid the courts of frivolous and unnecessary lawsuits.  Although not identical, both pieces of legislation seek to implement many vital measures that will strengthen industry and promote innovation.

The patent troll issue is also being addressed by states.  Twenty-five states have passed legislation to address the issue, to date, and several other states have legislation pending.

To read the House letter, click here; to read the Senate letter, click here.