From: The Honorable Tony Cardenas
Cosponsors: Reps. Tony Cardenas, Blake Farenthold, Steve Chabot, Michael M. Honda, Michael T. McCaul, Eric Swalwell
Support: Amazon.com, Association of Global Automakers, Cisco Systems, ConsumerTechnology Association, Dell Inc., EMC Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Google Inc., HP Enterprise, HP Inc., HTC Amerca, Inc., Lecorpio, Oracle,
Samsung Electronics, Silicon Labs, Sprint, Toyota Motor North America, VIZIO, MVware, Public Knowledge
Please join us in sponsoring H.R. 4829, the Trade Protection Not Troll Protection Act, which addresses the continued abuse by patent assertion entities (“PAEs”) of the patent process at the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) established under Section 337 of the Tariff Act. The legislation has already garnered support from a broad coalition of American companies, to include Dell, Ford, Google, Cisco, HP Inc., and Broadcom.
Congress has long sought to curb the flagrant abuse by PAEs of our district courts, where PAEs cost the U.S. economy $29 billion in 2011 alone. As Congress has debated how to address these abuses, PAEs (or patent trolls) have found yet another avenue: exploiting the intent of Section 337, a key trade statute that aims to prevent entry into the U.S. by products that infringe on specified intellectual property rights (e.g., patent, copyright, trademark). Patent trolls are abusing our trade laws to extort additional resources from U.S. employers with the effect of stifling American innovation. H.R. 4829 is necessary in order to ensure neither venue becomes more attractive to PAEs in their efforts to extort fees from American employers.
PAEs have aggressively pursued legal action at the ITC since 2006, having brought a record 30 percent of Section 337 investigations in 2012. In recent years, the number of PAE investigations instituted by the ITC has remained fairly stable,
but the number of PAEs using the threat of section 337 investigations to demand large settlements from American employers has grown. Further, costs continue to increase per investigation as the number of respondents increases. The large influx of cases has negatively impacted the ITC forcing the Commission to dedicate considerable resources to investigate and conclude each PAE case.
H.R. 4829 proposes a narrow set of reforms necessary to modernize the ITC, refocusing the agency on its core trade purposes and restoring a rational balance to the patent system. We urge you to join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation and help protect U.S. employers by emailing Anna Hevia (Congressman Cárdenas) or Sasha Moss (Congressman Farenthold).
TONY CÁRDENAS BLAKE FARENTHOLD
Member of Congress Member of Congress