TechNet Statement Hailing House Approval of H.R. 3309, The Innovation Act of 2013

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December 5, 2013

TechNet Statement Hailing House Approval of H.R. 3309, The Innovation Act of 2013 

Washington, D.C. – TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network of CEO’s that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, issued the following statement hailing the very strong bipartisan approval of H.R. 3309, The Innovation Act of 2013, and urges the Senate Judiciary Committee to build on the momentum of House passage by taking up this issue as soon as reasonably possible:

“TechNet hails the leadership of Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi and Chairman Goodlatte, and applauds Members of the House of Representatives for their strong bipartisan approval of H.R. 3309, 325-90,” said Dan Turrentine, Vice President of Government Relations.  If enacted, H.R. 3309 would be an important and effective measure to prevent frivolous claims of patent infringement and harassing threats against end users and innovators.

“The Innovation Act is a big step forward in getting control of an out-of-control legal system that allows serial plaintiffs to leverage the burdens and costs of litigation to take advantage of entrepreneurs and the innovative companies that drive the Information Economy.  I congratulate the House on the overwhelming bipartisan support for this important legislation,” said Safra Catz, President of Oracle.

“We commend the House for today’s passage of the Innovation Act. This legislation will stop trolls from abusing the patent system, ensuring that America’s productive business are investing in innovation and growth, not patent litigation, ” said Kent Walker, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Google.

“Today’s overwhelming, bipartisan House vote to pass the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) marks a significant milestone toward enactment of common-sense reforms to curb abusive patent litigation. Abusive patent lawsuits create a heavy burden on the US economy — slowing innovation, undermining competitiveness, and stunting economic growth. Microsoft applauds the House action and Chairman Goodlatte and his Committee for their leadership.  We will continue to work with lawmakers toward enactment of legislation that reduces abusive litigation, improves America’s patent system, and protects the 55 million jobs supported by IP-intensive industries,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs of Microsoft

“The House of Representatives today took measured and reasonable steps against the misuse of the legal system by patent assertion entities, by passing legislation to dry up the financial incentives that allow patent assertion entities to thrive.    As a company that has a portfolio of over 10,000 US patents by dint of our strong culture of innovation, we care about a patent system that rewards true innovation — and we oppose misuse of that system by those who use the costs and uncertainty of litigation to extract unearned gains or to assert patents that should never have been issued.  At a time when most issues in front of Congress are frozen in gridlock, this bill passed with a strong bipartisan majority.  Members clearly recognize that patent assertion entities are a drag on our economy and on innovation. The fight now moves to the Senate, where I am hopeful that a similar bipartisan majority will take action against this growing problem,” said Mark Chandler, General Counsel of Cisco.

The fear and consternation caused by patent trolls has been stifling not just for Fortune 1000 companies, but additionally for start-ups. Without the important reforms in HR 3309, the disruptive impact of predatory patent litigation will give prospective investors pause and slow the path of innovative new companies and industries just over the technology horizon.

TechNet urges Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to build on the strong momentum of House passage by taking up this issue as soon as reasonably possible to help ensure America’s economic competitiveness and technology leadership around the world.

About TechNet:

TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of CEOs that promotes the growth of technology industries and the economy by building long-term relationships between technology leaders and policymakers and by advocating a targeted policy agenda. TechNet’s members represent more than one million employees in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, e-commerce and finance. TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Palo Alto, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston and Austin. Web address: www.technet.org. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @technetupdate.