(WASHINGTON, DC) – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), current member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation to address the growing threat of so-called “patent trolls.” Patent trolls purchase existing broad patents and then threaten businesses of infringing on those patents, in search of a financial settlement or litigation. Hatch’s legislation, the Patent Litigation Integrity Act (S. 1612), gives judges more opportunity to shift the costs and expenses of litigation, and gives defendants the opportunity to request a bond up front to prove the party seeking a claim on the patent has the adequate resources to turn over to the prevailing party if that party is successful in defending its claim.
“Patent trolls are a drain on the innovation in our country and their practices need to end,” Hatch said. “Many small businesses in Utah and throughout the country simply don’t have the resources to fight back against the predators in our patent system, and my bill gives them adequate resources to fight back. Fee shifting without the option to seek a bond is like writing a check on an empty account, and that’s why it’s important to include both in any legislation dealing with patent trolls. It’s my hope the Senate will act soon to put a stop to the patent trolls draining the innovation in our country and weakening our economy.”