Setback for patent-troll reform

The National Retail Federation is calling the shelving of legislation for patent reform a victory for patent trolls.

The statement came as a response to a Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision this week to remove from its agenda legislation to protect companies from patent trolls.

Retailers particularly are hard hit by companies whose main source of profit is to acquire patents and then threaten to sue companies for infringement, while offering to settle for less than the costs of going to court.

“We are deeply disappointed that groups representing the status quo have continued to stall and stymie attempts at effective patent reform,” wrote NRF senior VP government relations David French.

According to wire reports, heavy lobbying by pharmaceutical and biotechnology interests, as well as trial lawyers, helped derail the bill.

“Even though this is a loss for Main Street merchants, end users will continue to work with those committed to strengthening and reforming our patent system,” French’s statement continued. “Small business owners, retailers, grocers, banks, coffee shops and restaurants need patent relief now, and without Senate action the problem will only grow worse.”

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