Congressman Bob Goodlatte, breaking ground in patent law reform. VaDOT The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), has introduced a bill [PDF] that directly attacks the business model of “patent trolls.” The bill has a real chance at passing, with wide backing from leadership in both parties.

The proposal integrates most of the ideas from earlier patent reform bills introduced by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-TX), as well as the SHIELD Act introduced by Reps. Pete DeFazio (D-OR) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). DeFazio and Chaffetz are co-sponsors, along with several other House members. Lawyers from three groups that are deeply concerned about patent trolling had universal praise for the bill in a press call earlier today. (Those groups are the Computer and Communications Industry Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Knowledge.) It’s not perfect, but if passed, it’s a giant step forward that couldn’t have been foreseen even a year ago. 0     

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