Critics to Congress: Put the brakes on patent bill

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Critics to Congress: Put the brakes on patent bill


The U.S. House of Representatives needs to take more time to debate and rewrite a bill targeting so-called patent trolls because several provisions would hurt legitimate patent holders, several critics of the bill said Tuesday.

The House is scheduled to vote on the Innovation Act as soon as this week, but members of the higher education, venture capital and other industries called on Congress to refine the legislation before passing it.

The Innovation Act is good "for people who don't like patents and would
like  them all to go away," said Gary Lauder, a venture capitalist.
Researchers at  universities often invent products that are manufactured by
private companies,  and the bill, as written, is "going to disrupt this
system," added John Vaughn,  executive vice president of the Association of
American Universities, during a  press conference Tuesday.

The Innovation Act, sponsored by several members of the House Judiciary Committee, including Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, targets businesses that use patent licensing and lawsuits as their primary source of revenue. These patent assertion entities (PAEs) are often called patent trolls, but it’s difficult to define trolls in a way that protects legitimate inventors who choose not to make products based on their patents.

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