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Press Room

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2014

AGs Support Federal Patent Reform Legislation

February 24, 2014

Ask Congress to Consider Amendments

Washington, DC---The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter today signed by 42 state and territorial attorneys general to U.S. Senate committee leadership offering support for bipartisan federal patent reform legislation that addresses patent trolls and suggesting some amendments.

Patent trolls acquire patents solely for the purpose of using them to extract license fees and settlements from those targeted as alleged infringers. Consumers, small businesses and non-profit agencies are often targeted by patent trolls because they have purchased or used products with a wide-range of patented technology such as printers or scanners.

AG offices have responded to complaints by launching investigations and bringing enforcement actions against patent trolls. “Our authority to protect businesses derives primarily from state statutes that prohibit unfair and deceptive acts. Though any patent holder has a right to fight infringement, it may not do so in a manner that is unfair or deceptive,” reads the NAAG letter.

The U.S. Senate bill, S.1720, and the related H.R. 3309, which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives, would require greater clarity in patent demand letters and include patent litigation reforms that will help limit the power of patent trolls.

The NAAG letter asks Congress to consider amendments that: confirm state enforcement authority; clarify state-court jurisdiction over bad-faith demand letters; increase transparency for patentees that send demand letters; and address patent litigation reforms.

The NAAG letter can be found here: http://www.naag.org/sign-on_archive.php.

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The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), www.naag.org, was founded in 1907 to help Attorneys General fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions.

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