WASHINGTON (Oct. 1, 2013) — The R Street Institute welcomed today’s introduction by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., of legislation to tackle the $29 billion problem of frivolous lawsuits brought by patent assertion entities, better known as “patent trolls.”

Under the Innovation Act, standards will be raised for “initial pleadings” by patent holders who claim infringement, requiring more detail about which patents are allegedly infringed and in what ways. It also proposes standards for when the loser of a patent infringement case can be asked to pay the victor’s legal fees.

The bill also would allow courts to join parties that have interest in the patents in question and to limit discovery until the patentee has constructed its claim, and it would permit manufacturers to intervene in suits against end users of their products.

“This bill offers a very promising update to the America Invents Act, addressing a broader range of issues and aiming not only to foster innovation, but also to protect legitimate patent holders,” R Street Policy Analyst Zachary Graves said. “If Congress were to combine these ideas with others, such as Rep. Darrell Issa’s proposal to expand significantly the AIA’s business method patent review process, it could take a significant step in the direction of real reform.”

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