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CEA Unveils “Troll Toll”

Idea is to track growing cost of patent reform delay

The Consumer Electronics Association has stepped up its lobbying for patent reform by unveiling the “Troll Toll,” a running tally of what the association estimates patent trolls have cost the U.S. economy since December.

That’s when the House passed the Innovation Act to reform the patent system and combat “trolls” that profit by bringing allegedly meritless suits against small companies. The House bill addresses fee-shifting to deter trolls from filing frivolous technology-oriented lawsuits.

In the Senate, Judiciary Chairman Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy is looking to advance his Patent Transparency and Improvements Act. Yet markup for the Senate bill has been postponed several times; CEA is hoping its “Troll Toll” will jumpstart its passage.

The patent troll issue is of interest to radio patent IP litigation filed against broadcasters employing certain music storage and automation systems and HD Radio technology.

CEA SVP Government Affairs Michael Petricone says every hour the hour the Senate delays action on patent reform legislation costs the country millions of dollars in terms of what companies pay to litigate patent lawsuits and the job losses that result from the high costs. “Each week patent trolls drain $1.5 billion from the U.S. economy, and the costs continue to skyrocket. That’s why we’ve established the ‘Troll Toll’ — a running tally of what the lack of strong patent reform legislation is costing our economy every second of every day.”

Saying the president stands ready to take action once Congress sends him patent reform legislation, Petricone adds: “If the Senate waits to take action until the new Congress begins, our economy stands to lose another $54 billion to these trolls — money that won’t be spent creating new jobs or funding breakthrough technologies.”