On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill by a vote of 33 to five that would severely restrict the patent trolling business model. It’s a significant show of confidence for the bipartisan bill, which aims to stop frivolous patent lawsuits by raising pleading requirements and introducing fee shifting onto some losing plaintiffs, among other things. In a press release today, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said “amendments during the markup improved the bill, and further efforts to resolve additional issues will receive attention between today and House floor action.” While there’s not yet a full record of the amendments made, this statement confirms reports that the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), has dropped a controversial measure regarding the expansion of “covered business method” (CBM) patent review.

The CBM measure would allow businesses to challenge certain “business method” and software patents without going to federal court (and without incurring the high costs of a federal court case).

While many tech companies were in favor of the CBM measure, companies like Microsoft and IBM, which hold large and profitable patent portfolios, were against it.

The Internet Infrastructure Coalition, an Internet advocacy group, denounced the removal of the CBM measure. “Unfortunately, Chairman Goodlatte’s decision to strike portions of the bill that would allow companies being sued for infringing on software patents to challenge those claims would still leave some companies vulnerable to further abuse from patent trolls,” said the coalition’s co-founder, Christian Dawson, in a statement.     

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