Press Releases

Burgess TROL Act approved by full committee

Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D., (TX-26), Subcommittee Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade today, praised the passage of H.R. 2045, the “Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters (TROL) Act” of 2015, through the full committee.  The bipartisan bill confronts bad faith demand letters that contain misleading information, or fail to disclose key pieces of patent information. Reps. Burgess and Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) gave the following remarks after the TROL Act’s advancement:

“Abusive patent letters unjustly threaten small business owners and drive up prices for consumers,” Rep. Burgess said. “I am pleased by the passage of this critical bill, which stops bad-faith litigators from using our courts to prey on both aspiring and accomplished entrepreneurs.  This is a necessary solution that balances first amendment rights of legitimate patent holders and filters out letters that lack legitimacy.” 

“This bill deals with one of the most pressing issues with our patent system,” Rep. Kaptur said. “A small group of bad actors have discovered that they can extract money from our nation’s independent inventors and small businesses, especially those with only one or two patents, by sending out hundreds or even thousands of erroneous patent lawsuit threats. This legislation raises the stakes for those that engage in this kind of predatory behavior and establishes a standard for enforcement across all states to protect against it."

The TROL Act was introduced by a bipartisan coalition consisting of Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade (CMT) Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D., (TX-26), CMT Subcommittee Vice-Chairman Leonard Lance (NJ-7), Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Congressman Gregg Harper (MS-3), Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2).