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.”
Lowe’s names new SVP, general merchandising manager
Lowe’s has a new SVP in Michael Tummillo, who is taking over the Building and Maintenance division as SVP and general merchandising manager.
In his new role, Tummillo will be responsible for the company’s Lumber & Building Materials, Millwork, Tools & Hardware and Rough Plumbing & Electrical divisions.
He replaces Michael McDermott, who will now serve as CMO and direct supervisor to Tummillo.
"Mike has a deep understanding of the business and the challenges our professional and DIY customers face every day," said McDermott. "During his time at Lowe’s, Mike has demonstrated the kind of strategic thinking and leadership across functions which will position him for success as he takes on responsibility for the broader building and maintenance merchandising team. I have great confidence that Mike will deliver our strategic goals in this important segment of the business."
Tummillo was most recently serving as merchandising VP, rough plumbing and electrical. He joined Lowe’s in 2004 as VP credit services, soon-after acquiring additional responsibilities in credit, project and event sales. His resume also includes stints at GE card services and GE financial assurance.