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Burgess Bill TROLs Bad Actors
Posted by on March 5, 2019 | comments
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Washington, D.C. —Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, recently reintroduced H.R. 108, the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters (TROL) Act of 2019. This legislation, which has been introduced since the 114th Congress, would protect legitimate patent holders and stop bad actors.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are key pillars of American opportunity. Too often, patent trolls foil progress with frivolous legal action – particularly in the Eastern District of Texas,” said Dr. Burgess. “The federal government should not be in the business of thwarting entrepreneurs’ ingenuity. The TROL Act is a commonsense solution that would protect Americans’ intellectual property and expand their opportunity to innovate.

“In North Texas, Apple’s recent decision to close two stores located in the Eastern District and open a store outside of its jurisdiction underscores the need for legislation to limit patent trolls. Congress should consider the TROL Act soon.”

Background:
The TROL Act makes it an unfair or deceptive act or practice, under the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Section 5 authority, for a person to knowingly send misleading demand letters asserting patent infringement – also known as patent demand letters. This bill would allow the FTC to impose civil penalties on patent trolls that limit innovation and hurt small businesses that cannot afford to fight the assertions in court.

As Business Insider recently reported, Texas’ Eastern District is notorious for entertaining patent trolls at the detriment of legitimate patent owners. Most recently, Apple announced it would close its stores in Plano, T.X. and Frisco, T.X., and open a store within the jurisdiction of the Northern District court. 

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