MCDANIEL CALLS FOR FEDERAL PATENT REFORM LEGISLATION

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February 24, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that he and 41 attorneys general from across the country have called on Congress to enact bipartisan patent reform legislation to protect small businesses and consumers from so-called “patent trolls.”

Patent trolls acquire patents in order to attempt to extract licensing fees or settlements from those accused of patent infringement. Consumers, small businesses and nonprofit agencies are often targeted by patent trolls because the entities have used products with a wide range of patented technology, such as printers or scanners.\

In a letter sent today to ranking members of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees, McDaniel and his colleagues said that patent trolls “stifle innovation and harm our economy by making dubious claims of patent infringement and using the threat of expensive litigation to extort money from small businesses and nonprofits.” The threats from patent trolls are levied on many types of businesses, including banks, hospitals, restaurants and hotels.

“Patent trolls are aggressively targeting small businesses across the country,” McDaniel said. “Federal patent reform will help to rein in the practice of sending deceptive demand letters to consumers. I strongly encourage any Arkansas consumers or businesses who have been victims of patent trolling to contact our Consumer Protection Division.”

McDaniel said the Consumer Protection Division would investigate complaints about patent trolls to determine whether the actions violate state law.

Attorneys general in their letter today asked Congress to preserve states’ existing authority to protect their residents from patent trolls.

Senate bill 1720 and H.R. 3309, which has passed the House, would require greater clarity in patent demand letters, and both bills include patent litigation reforms that will help limit the power of patent trolls.

To file a complaint about instances of patent trolling in Arkansas, call (800) 482-8982 or visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

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