The National Retail Federation ran this ad in The Hill, a Congressional newsletter, on July 10. National Retail Federation This year has already shaped up to be one of enormous Congressional interest in patent trolls, with six bills introduced so far that would bring various fixes to bear on the problem—some big in scope, others more modest. Whether this discussion will lead to action still remains to be seen.
The White House wants action on the issue, as well. Today, a letter signed by 50 disparate organizations was delivered to the chairmen and minority leaders of the judicial committees in both houses.
The National Retail Federation, which has made patents a top issue for 2013, dubbed it the “Big Tent letter,” and the signatories do reflect the unprecedented groundswell of support for doing something about patent trolls. With small businesses being hit up for $1,000 per worker just for using scanners, and multi-million dollar court battles being fought to kill obvious e-commerce patents, more American businesses are waking up to the fact that this isn’t just a tech issue anymore. In fact, the letter points out that 2012 was the first time that trolls sued more non-tech companies than those involved in tech. The letter reads, in part: