On June 4, the Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly approved S. 1137 the PATENT Act by a vote of 16-4. In advance of the Committee’s action, NAR activated our network of FPCs who work with Senators assigned to this Committee to reinforce the importance of the legislation. Thanks to all the Senate FPCs who took action! As you can see, it made a difference.
This legislation is a carefully balanced set of patent litigation reforms aimed at curbing abusive patent litigation at the hands of “patent trolls.” The legislation is now expected to be brought to the Senate floor sometime in July.
REALTORS® across the country have received threatening letters and lawsuits from law firms representing patent holders. These letters or lawsuits demand licensing fees to use common business tools such as drop down menu’s on website and the scanner function on a copier. These Patent Trolls buy vague patents and use them to turn everyday business practices into potential lawsuits. We and other small businesses have been the victims of these trolls.
NAR together with our partners in the United for Patent Reform Coalition support this effort, and while we continue to work to improve the legislation, we are pleased with this result. We will continue to work with the Senate to pass a package of reforms that provide Realtors relief from abusive litigation.
For more information on the patent reform issue click here.