Dear Mr. Upton and Mr. Pallone,

The undersigned organizations represent the small business, consumer and public interests in the area of patent policy. We write in regretful opposition to the draft Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters (TROL) Act that was previously marked up by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade on April 22, 2015, and that is scheduled for markup by the full committee today.

Abusive patent demand letters are a major problem today, and we support legislation that curbs such abuses and strongly protects the public. But this bill fails to do so, only weakly protecting businesses and individuals, and even going so far as to undo stronger protections for residents of the 22 states that have enacted individual demand letter laws. Specifically, we have at least the following concerns with the bill in its present form:

We do recognize the committee’s significant efforts in dealing with this difficult issue, and thank the committee for taking many steps toward improving this draft bill, in several circumstances at the suggestion of the undersigned. Work on this bill can and should continue. Even though this bill cannot be the beginning and the end of patent reform—the problems with the system go beyond demand letters—fixing the demand letter problem is a critical piece of that reform effort.

But it would be a mistake for this committee to place its imprimatur on the bill as currently drafted. The bill should protect small businesses, consumers and the public from abusive patent demand letters. It does not sufficiently do so. Accordingly, we are unable to support it, and urge you and members of the committee to vote against it.

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Engine Advocacy
Public Knowledge
R Street Institute


Featured Publications