Congressman Jeffries in San Jose Mercury News on patent reform
From the Mercury News:
In recent years, however, tech entrepreneurs, startups, small patent holders and more established companies throughout the nation have been threatened by bad actors abusing the system. A 2013 study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that the "total number of defendants sued by [Patent Monetization Entities] more than tripled from 834 in 2007 to 3,401 in 2011." Such entities are concentrating their efforts on small and medium sized business, including start-up companies in New York City's growing innovation economy. According to a 2011 American Intellectual Property Law Association study, the range of costs per patent case is between $650,000 in small cases to up to $5 million in large disputes.
For many startups, such as those I represent, such high costs are simply not an option, and many are forced into lawsuit settlements that perpetuate abusive behavior.
This is not to say that patent litigation is inherently problematic. On the contrary, patents are important property rights that owners have a right to buy, sell and enforce. The top technology companies could not have risen to their level of prominence without being able to fully apply their intellectual property. However, our civil litigation system should not be used as a vehicle to reward bad actors.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who represents New York's Eighth District, will be visiting the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce on March 12 to discuss issues of intellectual property, immigration reform and workforce education