There is a developing crisis in America in which companies of all sizes and industries, including travel, are held hostage by frivolous lawsuits and overly broad claims by patent trolls. It is imperative that we change this situation and take back the patent litigation system, which was designed to promote innovation and investment to benefit the entire American economy.

Quick Facts

Over the past five years, the number of patent infringement suits filed by patent trolls has more than tripled.  The vast majority of these suits are frivolous and based on overly broad and vague charges alleging patent infringement.  They demand unjustified payments from innocent businesses and try to coerce these largely small and medium-sized businesses to in effect pay protection money.

The U.S. Travel Association has joined a broad coalition of businesses and associations fighting to reclaim the patent litigation process so it can fulfill its original purpose: fostering new ideas and innovation, and investment in groundbreaking businesses that can spur the American economy for years to come.

 U.S. Travel is working with the United for Patent Reform coalition on multiple fronts to change the system to penalize patent trolls for coercive claims and frivolous lawsuits, and discourage further abusive activities.

 

Recommendations

Reform abusive demand letters

Patent demand letters must be required to include truthful, basic information. Innocent businesses should not be bullied into paying what amounts to protection money through vague demand letters.

Trolls must explain their claims

Patent owners should be required to explain in detail the basis for the alleged infringement when they file a complaint. Current law does not require that a patent holder explain how a patent is infringed, or even identify the product involved, which makes it nearly impossible for someone who has been sued to evaluate the case and decide how to proceed.

Discovery abuses must be stopped

Patent trolls should be required to pay for the discovery they request beyond core documents so that they cannot run up costs just to force a settlement. Making trolls responsible for the costs of their discovery requests that go beyond the core documents needed to decide most patent issues will stop unreasonable demands made for negotiation leverage.

Quick Facts

  • $1.3

    M

    Average cost for patent troll settlement for small or medium-sized businesses.
    The average in-court patent defense case cost $1.75 million for a small or medium-sized company.
  • $80B

    The amount patent trolls cost American businesses in 2011.
    Patent trolls were responsible for 63 percent of all patent infringement lawsuits in 2014, up from 28 percent of all patent infringement suits in 2009.
  • 2,791

    Patent infringement suits filed in 2014.
    Lawsuits for patent infringment are up nearly three times 2010 levels.

Research, News and Commentary on Patent Reform

America's Travel Leaders Support Patent Reform Bill

October 24, 2013

The U.S. Travel Association today welcomed introduction of the Innovation Act of 2013, H.R. 3309, by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.).

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